• There was a chill in the brisk air as the moon touched the hazy sky that frigid night. It had been placed at its highest, looming over the celebrating land. It was the night of December forth. The night she was born. The air was thick with anticipation, for deep in this royal kingdom, a new beginning was ahead. Hidden through the steel gates and white cement of the palace, an eager man paced back and forth outside of the sacred chamber. His features were bold. A rugged, black beard mixed with tanned skin. His eyebrows were bushed and nearly hid his azure hues. The man’s body was slightly worn, possibly from several ancient battles from ages before. His form was covered within a crimson robe, decorated with elegant designs of golden thread. The velvet material fell to his feet, swaying a bit behind as his nervous form twitched in anxiety. Would he loose another child tonight? Guards stood at each side of the closed corridors, hearing shuffles within the room. The cries of pain had ceased, and now it all lay within the hands of the child to be. Would it be able to take its first breath into this world? Would this land be saved by the hands of a future leader? All movements ceased as the doors began to tremble, opening in a slow movement. A woman dressed in a brown cloth came into view of the stressed man. Her blonde hair was wrapped tight in a handkerchief. The expression to her features numb, only causing the core of his heart to break once more. It was not until the corners of her lips lifted into a curve that he helplessly copied. She fell into a loyal bow before she spoke to him, head lowered respectfully.
    “My dearest lord, your wish has come to life.”
    “A Prince!” He cried out in joy. The King then threw himself to a nearby guard, surprising the gentleman as his leader grasped his shoulders. “A boy, a son for me!” The young protector could only reach out to shake his hand vigorously, a sign of congratulation. Such enthusiasm for a joyous night.
    “My Lord…” She somewhat appeared hesitant then. The woman kept her stance, her head tilted in consideration. Her eyebrows were arched inwards, uncomfortably. Her leader unwrapped the handshake, only to turn his view back to the servant. Again, the woman parted her lips to speak. “Forgive me. It is not a prince, my lord.”
    Slowly the hue in his expression became a bit softer. His dream clashed in several forms. How could his name be carried forth now? For a woman would only carry on another’s! He felt a mixture of emotions. Regret for reproducing a woman to lead his helpless kingdom. And yet, happiness for a daughter who would withhold his queen’s beauty. Still, she had come into this world unharmed. He finally had a child to call his own. And that was enough to send the man back into happiness.
    “A daughter!” He cried out. His arms reached into the air as a sign of relief swept over the woman’s expression. That was when the never ending sounds of celebration began that night. Fireworks exploded into the air. Drinks were served for free at the local inns. Handshakes and hugs were spread all throughout the land. Finally the kingdom of Lunation would move on. This Princess would be the savior and would bring this land back to life. However, little did they know that their beloved daughter would be much more complicated to handle.
    Roxanna was indeed, the beauty of the land. Her unruly ebony curls were enough of a contrasted feature against that white skin. Eyes were such an intense, mysterious blue shade. Mystical looking and elegant. She was growing up to be quite the young lady. A princess in training. However, it appeared the girl wanted very little to do with such responsibility. At the young age of eight, there was little on her mind besides wanting to play and have fun. Especially mischief causing. She found herself being scolded by her parents each day, more then she could count her fingers. And they found it hard to keep the girl in their grasp. Her independence was thriving. Yet, as each day passed, there appeared to be one in particular that she could never forget. The day she met her best friend.
    The princess was hiding, deep within the castle’s rose garden. A prank had been played on a respected chef that morning and the sound of him finding last night’s dinner filled within his black shoes was enough to scare her away for at least the afternoon. White shoes tapped along the thin trail which became a tangled maze inside the large garden. Her slender fingers reached out, brushing a few flowers with the tips. She was humming an innocent tune, one in which caught the ears of a young boy. He was upon one side of the stray of bushes, peeking through to find the young girl strolling freely. He would not know any better. His attire was worn, though still higher then one of a castle servant. His hair was pin straight, black like hers. His eyes were a piercing green haze. Strikingly handsome for such a young lad. He was near her age, if not older. He began to stalk her through those high bushes. Following her shadow intensely between the flowers and leafs. That would be until their path’s joined into one, the barrier between the two vanishing. He startled her and for that moment, the Princess of Lunation locked eyes with this strange boy. He as well, awkwardly stared. He knew who she was. It was hard not to. But she? She would have no idea who was following her indeed.
    “Where did you hear that song?” His voice demanded. Those eyes narrowed heavily, referring to her consistent humming. Her own bright hues constricted into a slant.
    “Why does it matter?” She graveled. Her arms slowly crossed over one another, tightly against her torso.
    “My mother used to sing that song.” Suddenly the tables had turned. The girl found her expression a bit loose in her prompt attitude. She tilted her head as she spoke more timidly.
    “Used to?” The young boy looked away a bit to her questionable words. It was obvious, he was not one to show such hurt feelings.
    “She passed away a few years ago. She was a maid for the queen.” The boy placed his hands on his hips, an immature look to his face. “So, where did you hear it?”
    “I don’t know. I’ve known it as long as I can remember. A lot of my mother’s maids use to put me to sleep. Maybe I heard her.” She spoke truthfully. However, the girl withheld an innocent frown. A boy without a mother? How sad. She did not know what she would ever do without her parents. “What about your father?”
    “He is always away at war. He is a member of the Lunation Army. I don’t get to see him much. They keep me busy around here though, with chores.” He took a look down towards the trail he walked upon. A basket full of bright roses. He would need to get back to work before anyone had seen. He would then look to her once more.
    “What sort of chores?” Again, those curls bounced as her head tilted in curiosity. The boy sighed. His eyes rolled.
    “What does it matter to a girl like you?” He firmly pressed those lips together. It created a stubborn look on the young man. Suddenly she looked away. She hated when she got answers like that. She was always treated as prim and proper, when in reality she wanted to be just like everyone else. Why could no one see that? The expression on her face was obvious to him though. Had he hurt her feelings? That was not what he had wanted to accomplish. Then the boy opened his lips to speak once more. “… Simple things. Like right now, I’m collecting roses to put in vases throughout the castle.” Her eyes slowly met his.
    “Can I help?” She shyly asked. Her fingers twiddled with one another before her as those eyes adverted down to them. He blinked. She wanted to help with chores? Slowly the boy smiled.
    “If you’d like. But why wouldn’t you want to go back to the castle and do something more fun?” He turned, starting to head back towards his basket of roses.
    “Because I’m in trouble. I don’t want to get yelled at.” She admitted. She was about two inches shorter then him, following the boy down the trail.
    “Trouble? The Princess?” He looked over his shoulder at her, walking until he reached the woven container. He bent down, grasping the handle before he leaned back up.
    “Yeah… well… I did something kind of funny.” She lightly smiled. Her fingers once more reached to twirl behind her. A nervous habit she had formed.
    “Like what?”
    “I dumped a load of stuffing into a man’s shoe.” After a moment of surprised eyes, the boy slowly leaned over before he began to laugh, hunched slightly. The girl smiled, haughtily proud of her prank.
    “Did you really?! Who was it?!” He cried out to her in smiles.
    “The main chef.” She kept her nose stuck high, pleased with her work. The boy then only laughed harder. He began to walk, continuing to pick the most bloomed and brightest roses.
    “I hate that man. He always gives me the hardest work to do.” He was then shoved in the face with a well opened rose.
    “Is this one good?” He smiled clearly and nodded, holding out the basket. “I know you know mine. But what’s your name?” She asked. Her eyes were gleamed with the bright sunlight of that warm afternoon and it only caused that sleek smile of hers to widen further then it had in a long time. The boy looked back upon her. The Princess of Lunation wanted his name. How strange of her.
    “James.” He looked over this young girl, finding her kindness towards him quite overwhelming. Weren’t the royals usually ignoring him? Barking orders? Not her. This was one unique girl.
    From there on out, the couple became partners in crime. Pranks, laughter, a sense of innocence all mixed with a touch of taboo. Occasionally caught, the Princess would only take such blame in order to keep him from trouble. Not many could be rough on their future Queen. More and more time was spent together. They confided in each other. When her parents scolded her, she would run to him for comfort. When his father went away to war, she was there to be with him. At night, he would climb to her balcony from the empty room below. It was a forbidden act; even so, she welcomed every sight of him. In anyone else’s eyes, it was prohibited. In her eyes, it was the best thing that she felt had ever happened to her. They would spend hours in her locked bedroom, all through the night, laughing and talking. They were comfortable with one another. Their connection was one that neither could seem to find with anyone else. They were a team in secret, for no other could understand the bond that was hidden beneath. Not even they realized the strength of what they were becoming.
    Roxanna awoke one morn to find a strange carriage sitting outside of the castle doors. Rubbing her eyes, she couldn’t seem to help her curiosity. It was her birthday, the start of her thirteenth year. Wearing her light blue nightgown and navy robe, she darted out her bedroom door, down the hall, falling to her knees as she peeked through the railing. She was high up on the stairs, peering into the ballroom of the Lunation Castle. Those eyes would narrow to the view of strangers speaking in soft tones. Her young body slowly turning woman. But this young lady was sneaky when it came to strangers. One young man in particular grasped hold of her attention however. His attire was one of royalty. A colorful outfit mixed with black and gold linings. His hair was a dirty blonde. His posture was straight and his eyes direct on her father. He must have been from another land. Another kingdom. But why would they be invited here? From what little she knew of her land, they were hunted after by many. Why would her father risk having another kingdom involved with theirs? That question would only be answered within time.
    His eyes had caught her. The boy looked up against the stairs, finding a young girl peering through the thick bars of the railing to the second floor. When he had found her, he glared. She, as well, would not give such a friendly reaction in return. Her eyes became sharp with dread. She was then quick to jump to her feet, to run as far off as she could down the hall. As she ran, her arm reached out, accidentally knocking a vase of flowers from the small table. She spun around, glaring at her mess.
    “Roxanna?” She heard her father call out. She looked up. She scolded herself for not running off more silently and gracefully.
    “… I’m… not decent!” She called back. The girl then dashed forward once more, making her way into her bedroom. The door had slammed, echoing the hallway. Her eyes were narrowed. What was going on? She was unaware that guests would be arriving. She walked to her balcony, her eyes taking in the bright sunlight of that warm day. Again, eyes would gaze against that carriage. Was it only a boy and his father? Or had others come? A knock on her door was what caused her to spin around.
    “My dear Princess?” Roxanna heard a familiar servant to her doorway. “I’m here to aid you in your attire this morn. May I enter?”
    “You may enter.”
    The princess found herself overwhelmed by maids and servants soon after. Dressing her. Doing her hair. Setting up her crown. Why was she becoming so formal? She didn’t understand. Any questions she had asked were only answered in smiles and silence. Some were gossiping in whispers, a giggle being given after looking upon her. Others were helpless in their smiles, as if a silent excitement was illuminating. She didn’t understand any of this! She frustratingly called to one of the women,
    “GIVE ME MY FATHER! I WANT HIM, NOW!” The outburst was very inappropriate as well as careless. She was not one to give in so easily however, so the rare tantrum was treated with respect. The women were all paused upon for that moment. Smiles vanquished as they would return to their work. A servant set out of the room while she was continued to be made. In the back of her mind she was only becoming more intrigued with the thought of a royal subject of another land being here. She was trying to make sense of something she knew little about. She was trying to make sense of everything.
    More time had passed as the young girl sat on the edge of her bed. Her hair was up in a series of thick curls, all held together by a three pointed silver tiara. A blue sapphire within the middle. A gorgeous, azure ball gown was spread through her form. It was tight to her torso and flared from her hips to the floor. Yet, all through the radiating beauty of the young royal, her expression was one of concern. Her eyes held a heaviness that she could not explain. The women had left. She was alone. Her ears perked however when the sound of a knock on her door was given.
    “Enter.” She spoke casually. Her eyes lifted to the frame as she saw her beloved father. He carried a sweet smile to his lips as he silently closed the door behind him. She immediately stood into a rampage. “What is this? What is going on? Why won’t anyone tell me what is going on?!” The young teen was frustrated. She was foiled in the idea of figuring it out for herself.
    “Calm down, dear.” He raised his hands in a lowering gesture. She would cross her arms, however keeping her mouth shut. She backed up to the edge of her bed once more. There was still a minimum of respect she would give her sire, even in her fit. After a moment of silence, she watched as her father walked to her vanity. He took the chair, dragging it over as he spoke softly. “… Roxanna. Do you know I love you dearly?”
    “Of course I know that.” She responded. He would drag the chair to in front of her. His fingers released it before he walked to the front, sitting within it. His elbows leaned on his knees as his hands clasped together under his chin. Those black, bushed eyebrows were arched downwards in a thoughtful tone.
    “I only want the best for you. To the Kingdom of Lunation, you are known as their savior. You are the woman who is going to bring everyone out into a richer, safer community.” His hand gently reached out, taking her own. She remained silent as she listened to her father’s words. His thumbs ran over her knuckles. “Prince Aiden is going to help you do so.”
    “Prince Aiden?” She whispered beneath her breath. She watched her father’s expressions. There was so much that he was not telling her. So much that was being hidden. “How would he help me father? Do you even know him? I do not even know him. How can you say a boy from another land is going to be able to help me in mine when our knowledge is so little?” Her father’s eyes lit up a bit.
    “I have to admit, Roxanna. That is the first time I have ever heard you so worried about this Kingdom. In fact, the first time I have ever heard you speak properly.” He slowly gave a rugged smile.
    “This is the first time I have ever needed to worry. I don’t know much. But what I do know is that we shouldn’t be trusting any Kingdom’s right now. I have heard things. I have heard that we are weak, and that we can not subject ourselves to anything that can do us harm.” There was an awkward silence. Her father simply watched her, for she was so unaware of the specifics of their situation.
    “Just meet him. There is always more then what meets the eye.” He watched her. She was uncertain. Her eyes adverting off to the side as she swallowed deep in the back of her dry throat. When she spoke her final words, it was wretched.
    “… Fine.”
    Platinum colored shoes were tapped lightly against the smooth floor with each passing footstep. Her father’s hand was flat pressed to the back of her, urging her to continue moving forward. The hallway of the northern wing was long, or so it seemed in the eyes of a rejecting girl. To the end of it laid the King and his son. Prince Aiden. She would find her eyes wandered a bit however, only to land on a certain someone they were passing. James was cleaning a window. He wouldn’t dare to look over his shoulder. It was not the time to be interrupting.
    “Salutations, Princess Roxanna.” An unfamiliar voice heard was what brought her eyes forward once more. The boy smiled, however it seemed somewhat crooked. Perhaps he was as displeased with this as she. He would reach over, grasping her hand before it was even given to him. His lips were cold to the skin of her knuckles. Was she just so frustrated she did not even wish to give him the time of day? She slowly forced a smile.
    “Hello, Prince Aiden.” She grasped the sides of her dress, pulling them out before she leaned down in a lady-like bow towards him. She found his eyes wandering against her. Immediately, a sensation of discomfort made her only more awkward. Small talk was given between the king and Aiden’s father. All the while, her eyes would look at that prince. His smirk was sneaky. He had a suspicious touch about him. Something that she did not like. Not at all. After a few moments, her father leaned down, whispering against her ear.
    “… try to get along.” And with that, she gave a small nod. The prince would slightly scoff. Her eyes turned, looking to him again, Why would he made such a disrespectful sound? Her ears were then echoed with the sounds of the men walking off. They were soon alone to converse.
    “So… what do you like to do?” The princess asked. Her eyes looked against the Prince.
    “I like to read. Play chess. It’s a good game of skill.” He slanted those eyes in a slight frustration, for he knew she was not listening. Her eyes would look over the back of her shoulder. Had her father truly left her alone with this strange boy? Slowly, there was a wicked change in his forged pleasantness. “You know…” He crossed his arms in an attitude. “I can call back your father. You seem to like your hand held, little princess.”
    She was quick to turn her view back to him. Roxanna was stunned. She blinked at the boy’s snotty comment. Her eyebrows arched downwards. Little did she know, the boy working on the window behind her had already turned his head, narrowing eyes at the outcast. He had heard those words. What outsider would dare disrespect someone while in their land?
    “I… can hold my own.” Suddenly there was a strong sense of rebellion between the two. An awkward setting displayed around the young, royal teens. “… Besides. I will be the one ruling the kingdom one day. So obviously, someone believes I do not need my hand held.” There was such an amount of anger mixed within her now. She was so riled up, she found it easy to then move past him. Her shoulder smugly driving itself into the side of his. A sly move of contempt as she stared forward. Then it happened. The boy grasped her arm, whipping her to halt into a stop. She threw her head over her shoulder at him, a look of disbelief.
    “I wouldn’t be so sure about that Princess. Because from what I’ve heard, I’ll be the one giving you orders.” She stared. What did he mean? Before she could ask him so, there was another physical confrontation. However, this occurred when she caught the sight of James right behind the Prince. He would reach forward, grasping the hand which laid on her arm. Fingers were pried off before the raven haired boy stood between them. She took only a few steps back, remaining behind her friend. He was taller then the prince, though not by much. His eyes were deadly, bravely glaring at the fool who had dared to lay a hand. Even for a young boy, the intimidation he created was high.
    “You listen here. I don’t care who you are. I don’t care what you think I am. But know this, this is NOT your Kingdom. So don’t you DARE lay a finger on MY Princess.” His words were criminal. For he spoke to a royal boy in such a threatening way. Adrian and Roxanna, both were unable to keep the edge of their jaws from parting the tops of their lips.
    “… YOUR Princess?” The boy then started a smirk before he broke off into laughter. “The only thing you own are those dirty clothes that lay on your back, slave!”
    “And as a slave, I obviously withhold better manners then a stuck up infant like you.” Those laughs ceased. The boy widened his eyes, gritting his teeth.
    “GUARDS! ARREST THIS BOY!” He cried out. The princess remained, standing behind James. She shook her head, for in a matter of moments a series of men would come rushing over from the corner of the hall.
    “I DO NOT THINK SO, AIDEN.” She, would then move out from behind James. All three pairs of eyes, were livid. The guards would slow to a walk, their orders being confused as they would watch their princess. “This is MY Kingdom. You do not touch this boy. He is only protecting me. And if you think for one minute that you will receive no response to grabbing me like that, you’re wrong. You are dead wrong.” She turned to the loyal men. “Take him back to his father. And tell his father, they need to teach him more respect.” The guards would look upon one another. Why were they hesitating? The young princess didn’t know what to think. That would be when one stepped forward.
    “Dear Prince. Understand please, that we are inclined to follow our princess’s wish. And… our dear princess. Please understand our place. We can not order our future king around.” There was silence. Her eyes widened.
    “… what?” Her voice was choked up. Was that the secret? Was he going to be king of this land? She would slowly shake her head. “…. No. I do NOT think so.” It would send her into a dash, running as fast as she could from the group. She had seen Aiden’s smirk of victory as she turned, only etching a scar into her heart. Was she going to be made to marry this irresponsible, rude, selfish boy? She heard James’ voice calling out, only following her for so long throughout the castle… until he had lost her.
    It was killing him. It killed James to see his dear friend run off in such an upset sight. It wouldn’t be until that late night, when that young servant made his way onto the princess’s balcony. She did not greet him as she normally would have. Instead, when his lime eyes looked past those sheer curtains, he found her buried into the sheets of her bed. The boy was turning into quite a tall young man, his legs long and his torso somewhat built. His hair seemed as unkempt and yet still, such a fresh tinge. He remained silent as her lids opened weakly. She had faced herself towards him, her body keeping such a dull position. Her eyes were bloodshot, her cheeks streaked with tear stains and blotched with red. Such heartbreaking eyes looked up at the boy, who appeared to be impacted with such a situation. He had never seen her cry before… and he withheld the urge to kill who had dared to cause it. What a strange impulse. After the moment of shock had passed, he walked over to the edge of the sheets. Moving to his knees, he hesitated. This had never happened before. He had never felt such a powerful pull on his heart. He cared about his best friend, and to see her hurt was the ultimate assault. That was when his hand reached out, running along those black curls.
    “… What’s the matter, Roxanna?” He asked. His voice was low, unable to speak in a normal tone, for tonight was no out of the ordinary night.
    “I am going to be forced to marry him someday.” Her voice was cracked with emotion. Her fingertips tightened on the material of the sheets. He knew what man she spoke of, but even the teen boy knew she was holding back her feelings. He wanted to hear them.
    “… We’re still young Roxanna. Why are you so worried about that now?”
    “Because I hate him.” She had pulled herself from his grasp. Not in an attempt to reject him, but in a blind anger. “I am told, every day, I will be the reason that this kingdom will be good again. That I will be the one to rise this land up to be the best it can.” She had then sat up, moving to the edge of the bed. She sat beside him on the corner, towering slightly over the kneeling boy. “… then he came along. You saw how he acted today. He is the most inconsiderate boy I have ever met. And today, I was told he is to be my future fiancé.” She looked down at him. He was silent as he stared up against her. “…I can’t let that happen, James. I… don’t know much about this kingdom. I was never taught anything. I was never shown anything. Because the truth is, I am not the one to bring this kingdom back to life. I am a pawn, to be given, so someone else can have my privilege. And I am not going to give my responsibility away to a person who will only demolish what we have salvaged. I am going to do this. I am going to prove that I don’t need a King to make this the best place I can.” Her tears had slightly faded. The boy blinked at her so serious words. Her eyes were in a stern glaze. She meant it. She meant every word. So rare for him to see her so determined over such an important subject. However, it did not take a lot for the corners of his lips to curl into a small, timid smile.
    “If anyone can do it, it is you Roxanna.”
    That was the beginning that her childhood began to dwindle. The girl had taken books from the library. Books upon wars, history, life and death within her land. Of the rulers before her father. Of the men who gave their lives. They were once such an inspiring nation. For days, weeks, months the girl studied and read the past of her realm. Of their enemy kingdoms. Of their allies. Her studies began to intrigue her. It was a matter of three kingdoms involved with one another. Lunation. Crystalia. Alphaden.
    As more and more knowledge emerged, the girl began to notice that these kingdoms, were always involved against her one way or another. However, it was strange. Her fiancé, withheld the Kingdom Crystalia. How would her father give her to a prince whose kingdom was an enemy? Alphaden was a Kingdom covered with trees and forests. Their specialty was furs from wild animals. They were best known for their hunting skills. However, upon recent documents, she had read, their king was sickly. For some sort of reason, the Kingdom could not seem to provide a heir to take over. This interested the young girl. For she had noticed a letter she had taken from her father’s files. It spoke of a contract. One of which involved their heir to be connected to Lunation’s. If two heirs were to join in matrimony, both sides would combine forces. Lunation was known for it’s open fields and farming lands. Alphaden, for their wide variety of furs and markets. They would become a strong armored, market kingdom. However, upon finding another letter, it appeared Roxanna’s father rejected their request. Mainly, due to the rumor of the King of Alphaden unable to reproduce. The allied land had become a strong enemy. Then, Crystalia came to her mind. They were a rich Kingdom, seeking land in order to expand. With a princess nearby in Lunation, it must have been a good deal.
    Through the years, the princess would be changing day by day. Whenever her friend would sneak up in the midst of night to see her, he would find her at the edge of her vanity. She would be studying, taking notes, reading. For the most part, he would find himself simply watching her through the cheer curtains. Occasionally, she would break free to catch up. But it wasn’t enough. James took note that the Prince of Crystalia was visiting every winter. Every time, there was a confrontation between him and his princess. Every time, he was holding back from becoming involved. There was nothing that could be done about it. The servant boy found it so incredibly hard to bare that very thought… and he wasn’t sure if it was only because his Princess was unhappy.
    One evening while studying in her room, the sixteen year old princess heard a strange noise outside. Her ears caused her head to jolt up slightly from the crevice of those pages. She had grown into a beautiful woman indeed and tonight, no tiara titled her. Her black curls were spiraling down her shoulders. Her hands placed that book on the glass vanity. She then stood, a simple red dress to her figure. She moved to those see through curtains, brushing them aside as she stepped onto the concrete. A clanking sound assaulted her ears, causing her to look over the edge of the side. Down below laid two men. One was an older, rugged man dressed in a firm armor. The other, was her beloved James, who wore nothing then his demolished pants. No shirt. The danger of him possibly being hurt did not seem to phase him, for his confidence was beaming high. She watched as they fought together, their swords hitting one another. This went on for quite some time. She leaned her elbows on the railing, smiling as she viewed below.
    Once the swords had ended their war, the elder pulled the young boy close. “You have a fan…” He had whispered. The old man smirked a bit, sheathing his sword before walking off. James, somewhat unsure of what he meant, slowly gazed his eyes up towards the sky. He then spotted her, his princess. He slowly smiled. The sight of her recently had given him a faster heartbeat. Was it the beauty that illuminated off her? He would waste no time. He looked to make sure he was alone. His sword was shoved back at his side, grasping the sides of the vines on the castle wall, he began to climb. His fingers and shoes were clasped between the plant. Such bravery for heights. Her smile widened inch by inch until he arrived at the top. There, he found his Roxanna grinning helplessly. He kept that smug smirk, knowing she had never seen that side of strength before. A warrior side of him.
    “It’s been a few weeks Roxanna… we’re loosing it.” He raised his eyebrows. “Our nightly sessions.” He found a soft laughter out of her then.
    “Well, perhaps it’s because you’re too busy playing with swords.” She gave a small nod to the weapon. “Why do you have that anyhow?”
    “I’m training to be in the army.”
    “… like your father.” She whispered. She slowly left that smile behind. She watched him for a moment. His eyes were stuck on her.
    “Yes.” He then slowly tore his eyes away. “He was a good man. I know he would be proud of my choice.” There was a moment of silence. An awkward tension carefully emerged. Those green eyes adverted to her. She had become such an attractive woman. One that any man would have given a limb for… including himself. Every time he saw her, he felt such an immense pull on his heart. And it only got worse each time.
    “Teach me.” He was brought back to life by her strange words. A look of courage laid against her. He blinked in slight confusion. An odd expression laid to his own features.
    “Teach you?”
    “Teach me how to battle with a sword.” He could tell by the sincere look on her face, she was being truthful. She wanted to learn how to use a sword? He would find his reaction to turn into one full of hesitance. Was he even allowed to do such a thing? Was it proper?
    “Only you, Roxanna… only you would be the only woman on earth who would want to use a sword.” He smirked, unsheathing the weapon before he pointed the tip to the concrete. Being improper with his leader was not something he was new at. He leaned against it somewhat before him. He helplessly shook his head.
    “Is that a yes…?” She raised her eyebrows at him, smiling so slyly. He had never denied her before. Why would he start now? That was why when he stepped closer, she held her hand out willingly. The weapon was placed in her grasp. Heavy for her, but she could deal. He stepped behind her. His hands reaching around her. Her slid under her arms to the sides of her waist. His fingers were pressed over hers, only standing himself as she should be. A strong posture which she made the attempt to mimic.
    “I never say no to you.”
    Then she felt it. While his hands laid over hers, she could feel the edge of his thumb brushing over her fingers. His chin was near her shoulder. She noticed how his breath grazed the edge of her skin. He was speaking, but she was unable to hear through the fog in her head. She found herself unable to concentrate on his words as he directed her on how to move. Their bodies were slowly moving in sync. Her mind however, was very much elsewhere. She could feel the strength of his body against the back of her own. It created a soft, pink colored hue on the perks of her cheeks. One side effect which, she would attempt to hide by keeping him behind her. However, the more he kept her close to him, the hotter her skin felt. And this, was all too new to the woman.
    “You’re tense. You can’t be that way in a battle. You’ll get yourself killed.” He spoke into her ear. He could feel the tightening of her fingers under his. The awkward aura which radiated from her. Was something wrong…? He paused for only a moment before let her go, leaving the sword in her grasp. He slowly moved out to stand before her. Seeing her with that steel blade, it would be an interesting sight. He slowly crossed his arms. Then he spotted those pink cheeks. “Perhaps you’re not feeling well?”
    “… I feel a little dizzy.” She would not lie. It was not because she was sick. She could tell, it was from the blood rushing through her veins. The princess had never felt so uneasy around him before. Then again, she had never let him guide her so closely before. She slowly stepped forward, the hilt of the sword held to him. “Perhaps… you can teach me another time…?”
    “Of course, Princess.” He had taken the metal blade, only to return it at his side. He would slowly smile. “I will be holding you to that. How does tomorrow sound, then?”
    “Yes James. Tomorrow.” Another awkward silence filled the air. He would look down upon her, the sheer moonlight beaming against her vivid skin. She would only look back, his coal threads a mess across half of his smile. He would then make the decision to turn around, heading for the vines against the side of her balcony. “James?” He stopped in his movements, his back remaining to her.
    “Yes, Roxanna?”
    “Do you think I will be a strong woman someday?” She stood there, watching him. His body language somewhat tense. He reached for the vines. His fingers wrapped around the thin plant.
    “I think it’s already been done.” He then pulled himself up and over the railing, dropping himself slowly down the intertwined stems. She stood there, stunned by what had happened that night. What were all of these mixed feelings she was having? Could he tell?
    By the next afternoon, the young princess would have made her way down to the army corridors. The men within that area would seem puzzled at her appearance in such an improper tone. It was inappropriate for a young princess to be venturing along such a conflicted area. Her tiara laid loosely atop her head, hair flowing free behind her. Her clothes were not typical of her normal royal attire. Today was more simple, a thin, black dress which would fall to her toes flimsily. The sleeves would be long and the top edge of her chest would present a silver lining across the material. The velvet texture was soft, comfortable to wear. Perfect for what she was to endure today. After last nights sequence of events regarding her handsome friend, she was still a bit uneasy. But she would push that aside. She did want to learn, for if it ever came down to it, she would want to protect her kingdom someday. And who was better to teach and understand her more then him?
    “… Princess?” A familiar voice called out. She would stop to look over her shoulder. There he stood, torso wrapped in an armor. He seemed quite surprised, a hand against the hilt of his sword. She would only find herself silent as those eyes adverted along his body. “Is everything okay?” He spoke tenderly. “You’re not one to show your face around here of all places.” A small chuckle left her.
    “Yes, yes… I am fine. I came in regards to your proposal last night.” What an awkward choice of words. A man behind the young boy was smirking, arms crossed.
    “Proposal, eh? Young boy, don’t you know you can’t marry a princess? You’re only an army man in training!” The man then choked out into a heavy laugh. James would glare over his shoulder before returning his view forward. He walked beside her, hand grasping her hand lightly to pull her away from curious eyes. She would make no argument to follow.
    “You like to embarrass me, don’t you?”
    “I love it. I did not want to wait until tonight though. Adrian will be stopping by tomorrow, thus father is making me rest early.” She grinned. She could tell his annoyance was greatly playful. He would modestly smile.
    “People may say we have something going on, rather then your fiancé, if they see us like this all the time.” He then heard her footsteps cease their movements. Did he have to say that? He looked over his shoulder at her, regret that he had spoken such words and noticing the expression on her face. It was one of curiosity.
    “… What if there was, James?”
    Suddenly everything had stopped. Her body. Her words. There was a silent link that was created with the look in their eyes. Something that each other knew, but would not speak of. His heart. His senses. His mind. Looking at her, he could have stared all day. For she was any man’s dream come true. But he would need to stop it. To snap himself out of this. It was not right. It could not be. “I would be beheaded.” He spoke the truth before he turned to the side, reaching out. He opened a door to a room, glancing to her yet again. “… Come on, Princess. Let’s show you how to fight.”