A/N: I've been in love with this movie since it came out. Disney did a great job at bringing the Prince and Princess to life. This is something that I just thought I should write. Its been in my head for too long. If you like it, do leave a review.
Sometimes, she thinks she doesn't know the man that she married.
These times are usually when he looks at her, as if not quite knowing who she is. Or what he is even doing there, in the Alamut palace. There are times when he stares off blankly from the balconies, searching out for something in the vast desert beyond the walls. He doesn't answer when called; only her touch could bring him back from his lost world.
There are afternoons when he looks at her as if she is a ghost, not quite alive and breathing right beside him. Then there are the evenings when he runs off alone, someplace no one, not even his closest friend Bis knows. He comes back silent and unsmiling; feeling a pain she knows nothing about. And she doesn't have the nerve to ask. He never leaves at nights, though. At least not when she is awake, she thinks. Everytime she wakes up, he is there. His body sometimes forming a cocoon around hers. Like a shield. He had rejected the custom of sharing separate bedrooms as the royal couples usually did. So they shared the same bed since the day of their marriage.
He didn't touch her, not sexually at least. He had cleared the air at the start saying, "Princess, I think it would be best if we take some time. I mean, you have just met me and we are marries in a week. Let's get to know each other first. Is that fine?"
What was she supposed to say to that? She wanted to sleep with him? That she had spent hours thinking about his lips on hers? She wanted to say that it was expected of them to consummate the marriage on the wedding night however he had solved that problem by simply saying, "I will take care of that problem." She had went to sleep on the vast bed; comforted by his arm around her waist.
He kisses her, like he did the morning after their wedding. Her chambermaids had giggled and she wasn't surprised to see blood on the white sheets with a cut on his left palm. He kisses her before going out and he kisses her when he comes in, leaving her breathless in the wake. Leaving her wanting more, so much more. Sometimes he kisses her with desperation, as if time is running out. As if she would run away. His kisses sometimes are sunshines and on some days like the stormy mornings; with little nips on her lips making her realize she doesn't know him. She doesn't know her own husband, The Lion of Persia.
But then there are times when no one knows him better than her. Not even his brothers, or his father, or even Bis. The mornings when he wakes up screaming her name or his brother's, she knows that he has had a nightmare about something he will probably never talk about. There are times when he almost crushes her in his arms, holding on to her like a lifeline. She knows in those times that he is remembering something, a time that never was. She doesn't ask him, she never does. Though she knows that something happened after the invasion of her city, something with the dagger and as her duty as the High Priestess she knew she should have asked. But she never does and he never says a word. Not a single word.
The moment her eyes had settled on him that day, she had known that she was in love. Inexplicable love. Something she hadn't known to exist outside fairytales. Yet she knew that she was in love with him. And then there were his eyes, eyes that spoke of a past, things that had never come to pass. He had blue eyes, so different from everyone else's. Eyes that held love for her, eyes which crinkled when he smiled with little hollows forming in his cheeks. She could swear that her heart had skipped a beat the moment he had first smiled at her.
It scares her to death how much she loves him. She could go to any length to keep him safe. She still doesn't quite get over the fact that she had lied to the priest when he had asked whether Dastan knew about the dagger. For the first time in her life, she had lied to the priest. For Dastan.
She never says the three words and neither does he.
She hopes that one day he will tell her the true story. She waits for him, for him to come to her. To say how much he knew about the dagger. He never does.
One day, they decide to make the trip to Nasaf. Even the prospect of seeing his family doesn't seem to cheer him up. She likes his family, even Tus. After her initial coldness towards him she had given up. It was so hard to be angry with someone who apologized so much. Garsiv drives her mad with no regards for rules yet he loved Dastan to the moon and back. That added plus marks for him. His father on the other hand was quite a different story. He was the man who had called her 'Daughter' the moment he had laid eyes on her. He had apologized again on the behalf of his sons and to her surprise she had already started thinking of him as her father. Never to admit weakness she had never let it show that she longed for a family. Ever since the death of her parents, the only ones she had were hired help. Needless to say, she had jumped at the prospect of a big family. Tus' wives are also great. So naturally she was excited to go to Nasaf. Dastan however had looked a bit alarmed.
The morning of the trip, he insists that she ride with him.
And she agrees hoping to break through his defenses even if a little bit. Sitting on his horse, its like deja vu. She can't help but think how natural it feels even though she has never rode a horse before. Ever. She rests her cheek on his shoulder, closing her eyes as her head hurts. Dastan doesn't say anything. His tunic soft beneath her cheek, she smells cloves and musk. Her thoughts stray away to the day she had seen him practice with his swords. He has a beautiful body, she admits. Dastan and his swords jump in and out of her thoughts as her brain quiets down, almost asleep when a memory tears through. From the back of her mind. She sees Dastan on a beautiful horse, Garsiv's horse, about to leave her. She is yelling but he keeps riding. A gasp escapes her lips making Dastan stop.
"Tamina? Are you OK?" She hears the concern in his voice and wonders if that is all he will ever feel for her. But then, she really couldn't expect anything else, could she? After all, Royal weddings are just political arrangements. Love is rarely the foundation of them. Sighing she looks up.
"Yes,Dastan. I'm fine. The sun is setting." She says with an air of ignorance. All she wants is to lie down in the safety of his arms as she remembers the feeling of being almost stranded.
"Are you sure?" He asks again.
"Yes." She says with certainty.
"We will camp here, Princess. Its getting late and you need to rest. You look tired." Before she knows it, he had jumped off the horse and she is in his arms as if she weighed less than a peanut. Feeling the ground beneath her feet again, she looks around. Dastan is busy setting up a camp and she marvels how easily the Persian Prince acts and works like commoner. She strokes the head of his horse, he is a beautiful creature.
"His name is Arash." Dastan says quietly.
"Arash." She repeats.
"It means-" "Bright Arrow. I know." She cuts him off, surprising him.
"Bis has been giving me lessons." She says helpfully when he looks bewildered at her understanding of his language. He nods with the smallest of smiles on his lips.
"So that is where he runs off to. He never told me. "He says, leading her into the tent he has set up. She can't help but admire his handiwork in such a short time. The rest of their people were still some way off, she could make out the fleck in the distance.
"Dastan? What is that?" her eyes catch the unmistakable rise of sand and dust in the distance.
He swears, the words harsh on his lips and pushes her into the tent with a sense of urgency. She turns back to him with a retort but he is busy securing the tent again and then he calms Arash who is suddenly whiny. She quietly slids down to the floor waiting for him.
"We need to leave!"
He looks at her for a long moment before sighing, "Only a Princess could think she could outrun a storm." There is a worn smile on his face; she could tell that he is tired. Tamina beckons to him with her hand and he comes to her. Arash sneaks his head in after him making her laugh. Dastan looks up startled as he takes his place beside her, pulling the canteen and blanket closer. She is stroking Arash's head near her feet while Dastan stares. The storm rages outside, now nearer than ever and Arash jerks his head in alarm. Her hand lands on the top of his in a moment as they both try to soothe the horse at the same time.
A tingle runs from her hand through her body when her skin comes in contact with his, like everytime. She can't help but look up at him to find his impossibly blue eyes trained on hers with something she can't quite detect. She strokes his hand, his skin rough against her soft fingers and he doesn't pull away.
"Dastan." His name slips from her lips in a whisper and he groans before pulling her petite form into his hard body, almost crushing her in process as he places his lips onto hers in a scorching kiss. She feels a tremor run through her body when his fingers tangle into her hair, pulling her even closer if that was possible. He whispers something and she can't make out what he is saying because she is so lost in the sensation, his lips creating havoc on her mind when he kisses her jaw. Eventually she gathers herself enough to focus on his words, lips murmuring against hers, the same words over and over again, "I'm sorry. I love you so much. I'm sorry."
Her heart skips a beat and her breath hitches in her throat the moment she registers his words. Noticing her stillness, Dastan pulls away saying, "I'm sorry. I dont-" She doesn't let him complete his sentence, tugging him down with his hair and planting her lips on his.
Arash, now quiet, closes his eyes when she moans. His hand again travel to her hair and waist, pulling her close and holding her steady against him. She doesn't protest when his kisses turn from gentle to bruising, instead she replies back with nips of her own. But again he pulls back. She too feels the need to breath. Deciding to ask now or never, she says,"What was that about? Not the kiss, I mean, the apology and-" she trails off into silence and his hands freeze in his hair a steely, broken look coming in his eyes.
"Dastan?" She prompts again, touching his arm and he flinches. "You have to tell me. I know something happened. You can't not tell me. I've already lied for you once. I'm not blaming you Dastan but I need to know the truth; as a high priestess and your wife. Please." She kisses his jaw and this time he doesn't flinch away, instead he puts his arm around her waist tethering her to him.
"I wanted to tell you everything the moment we first met. But you looked so peaceful and alive... I couldn't bring myself to put it all on you." He whispered.
"It's been six months since our marriage Dastan!"
"I know. I know! I've spent every moment gathering up the courage to tell but then you would step in front of me and all I could think was how much I loved you and how much I didn't want to lose you."
"You never said." Tamina smiles a little at his confession.
"How could I? I still had the guilt of lying to you." He says, lips on her head.
"So tell me now." She buries her head in his chest as the storm gets right over them. And he tells her. Everything, every single thing. Right from the start, the day he invaded and won her city, the day of the Ostrich race, the final race to the sand chamber. He doesn't stop though he deliberately left out the part where he sold her.
She listens as he tells a tale of tragedy and deaths, her mind churning at what he had to go through. And yet he was so strong, strong enough to not share with anyone but her. He eventually stops talking and just sits there with his face buried in her hair. She wonders how he even sleeps at nights with all this weighing in his chest.
"I can't sleep, you know. Atleast not properly. I wake up every half an hour screaming." He says as if reading her thoughts. She recalls all those times when she had woken up to him screaming her name, arms too tight around her.
"I know, Dastan." Tamina sighs.
"Everytime I see you, or my brothers or father all I think that this is a very good dream and any of you will be snatched away from me in a moment. And I just feel this need to get away, away from everyone and everything to avoid getting hurt. It physically hurts to have you so close and yet be so far from you. As if there is actual distance of thousands of kilometers between us." Dastan says, lips tracing her ear and she moans.
"That is because I don't know you Dastan. At least not how you know me." She manages to say, trying to ignore the sensation of his lips on her face. "But I'm not going anywhere. Nor is your family. They are all here, alive and well. All because of you. Because you had the courage to try and save the world, it really was your destiny Dastan."
"It sure came at a heavy price. Everytime you leave to go someplace all I can think is you falling into that abyss and a helpless me. I've never been so helpless in my whole life, not even in my street days." He says, eyes focusing on hers.
"The sands do demand too much, don't they? I'm glad you finally told me. I've been so worried." Tamina says, tracing his cheek.
"Worried? For what? And this is the first time you said something about the sands along my lines." He smirks, turning his head and placing a kiss in her palm. Her heart swells and she knows she has to tell him now.
"Yes. I don't know how to tell you this but the moment I saw you, I fell in love. I mean... it was so weird and scary to feel something so deep for someone I had just seen. I didn't know anything about you but then you smiled and I knew I was crazy for you. I didn't want to scare you and you were so distant and cold sometimes. I just couldn't gather up the courage and what if you ran? What if you didn't love me? I mean how could you?" she blabbers, for the first time in her life, this life and he shuts her off with a kiss that takes her breath away. His fingers get tangled up in her hair and she pulls him down by tugging on his hair. She groans as her soft curves fit the hard planes of his body perfectly. As his lips move to her earlobe she thinks how she now knows him. She knows his insecurities, she knows his reasons. She knows his sadness and she knows his fear. Maybe she knows her husband afterall.
Her chain of thought is broken when his lips find purchase on her throat and she gasps. "You have no idea how much i wanted to do this." He says and she smirks, threading her fingers in his hair and encouraging him with a moan as thoughts fly out of her mind. "I like the destiny thing if it leads to this." He says before leaving marks on her golden skin while her heart finally feels at peace.
There. If you like it, please leave a review.