Ella Enchanted 2: Life at the Palace

A/N: This takes place when Ella has just broken the curse and agreed to marry Char, before the epilogue. (They are still in Dame Olga's house) Unfortunately I don't own any of the characters, they all belong to the great Gail Carlson Levine.

Chapter One- Freedom

'You're free. The curse is over love.' Mandy's words kept running through my head. Finally, after all these years it was over, I had broken the curse. I felt so much lighter, as if I had lost a part of myself, and I have never felt better. I looked up into Char's eyes and pulled myself closer against him. He looked so handsome, smiling from our kiss, with some of my soot on his cheek. I smiled back at him. He leaned in to kiss me again, but right as our lips were about to meet Hattie jumped between us. "Ella, what do you think you are doing?" She shrieked, "Cursed or not, you are still a scullery maid, and no match for a prince." Her face softened, "Now, I, on the other hand am of noble blo-" Before she got a chance to finish, Char fiercely interrupted her, "I do not care if Ella is a scullery maid or a duchess. I love her and that's all that matters." He looked down lovingly at me, then his gaze turned back to Hattie. "You may have noble blood, but you certainly aren't a noble person." I stared stupidly at him. I had never seen him so much as udder an unkind word to someone. Hearing his reaction to Hattie made me fall even more in love with him. I smiled at him as he regained his composure. "Ella," He said to me, his eyes sparkling in the dim light of the room. "Will you come to the palace with me tonight?" "Do you honestly think I could possibly spend another day here? With them?" I said, making a disgusted face and gesturing towards my stepfamily, consisting of Dame Olga, Hattie, and Olive. The Prince laughed and took my hand, "Come, I'll help you gather your things" I led him down the servants' corridor and into the rundown room my stepfamily had so kindly let me stay in. Char's face contorted into a shocked expression as he saw the condition of my room. "This is your room?" He exclaimed. Looking around in disbelief. "I find it gorgeous. I'll be disappointed to leave its' homely atmosphere." I ran my hand across the doorframe looking at my room sadly. It took Char a moment before he realized I was joking, and he laughed. Making him laugh was my passion .His eyes met mine, and their gaze seemed to see into my soul. He brushed his hand across my cheek and softly kissed my lips. He pulled back and said, "Now hurry up and pack so we can leave." I quickly packed my few possessions into my small carpetbag, and then dragged Char out of the room. He took my bag while going on about how it is improper to not carry a lady's bag for her. I insisted that I could carry it myself, but in the end gave in to him. As we reached the end of the hall we saw Hattie running, well, running by her standards at least, into her room in a huff. Her hand was clutching something around her neck. At first, I paid no attention to it, just thinking she was upset about Char. Then it dawned on me; she was wearing my mother's necklace! "Hattie!" I screamed at her and I flew after her down the corridor. She turned and gave me a satisfied grin as she locked herself in her room. I began to pound on her door, "Hattie give me back my mother's necklace right now! Or I swear you'll never live to see the light of day!" In a second Char was by my side and He placed his hand on my shoulder to calm me. "I've got an idea, love." He whispered into my ear and winked at me. "Hattie," he began, "I will trade you one of my mothers pieces of jewelry for that old necklace of Ella's, I'm sure a Queen's necklace is of much greater value." That caught her attention. Hattie opened up the door a crack and peaked out. "Ok, this necklace is rather old fashion." She dropped the necklace in Char's outstretched hand. "When will I get this piece of jewelry you speak of?
"I will send you one of my mothers finest broaches by carriage for you tomorrow." He said, and then he grabbed my hand and pulled me back to the entry hall.
"Thank you." I said to my fiancé appreciatively. Char turned me around and fastened the necklace around my neck. I spun around into his arms and kissed him hard. "I love you."
"I love you too Ella," He said as he stroked my cheek. "Are you ready to go, love? I can't wait to introduce you to my parents, well, to introduce the real you to them."
I arranged to have Mandy, and Nancy to come and work at the palace. The carriage that delivers Hattie's broach was to pick them up and bring them to the palace tomorrow. It took Mandy about ten minutes to say goodbye to me, she was crying and going on about how proud she is of me. I finally untangled myself from her and found my way back into Char's arms. We walked outside and Char pulled me on to his horse, so I was positioned in front of him. Everything seemed so surreal, like I was outside of my body watching everything that was going on. I tilted my head back to look at Char. I must be dreaming, there's no way this could be happening. I pulled Char's face against mine and kissed him, again. His eyes widened in surprise, but then he closed them and deepened our kiss. This is definitely not a dream.