None of these characters belong to me, they belong to Meg Cabot and Disney. This is the first time Joseph ever meets Clarisse. Rupert's ok in this version and it's not related to "no Way out". One - shot. They're both the same age.

The young man sat down in front of the flustered king, smiling serenely.

"ah you're the new head of security", he smiled, lifting up Joseph's reference, " ahh 25 years old, six different languages, served in the Spanish army……Colonel Joseph I see".

Joseph smiled, nodding his head slightly,

" they posted me here from the service, I was finished with playing action man, they said it would be a tough job and I like a challenge". He was confident, but not cocky.

" I agree, times are most unsettled just now Joseph - I may call you Joseph?", Rupert said wearily.

"of course, your Majesty", he smiled, leaning back a little in his chair - feeling a little more relaxed. Rupert studied him intently, growing to like the young man every second.

" I trust you with both the safety of my staff and most importantly my wife and children. They are at the summer house just now, but they will be back for the ball", Rupert said softly, standing up. Joseph mimicked him, standing up also and offering his hand, Rupert shook it firmly.

"welcome to the palace, Joseph".

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The music drifted in and out of the new head of security's ears as he made his rounds around the perimeter of the palace. The hot summer air hung around him smelling of bitter oranges and flowery lilies, relaxing him but not as much so he could be lax of his duties.

He was enjoying this new job and all the pretty maids that went with it - they were game for fun. He smiled at that, he really was a womaniser. In his first week of being here, he felt this was really his first time to relax a little. He was exhausted, having reformed everything - from staff to CCTV, he had totally changed it to suit him. He liked this little country, it was cute. Everything about it was perfect. He hadn't ever been to Genovia and knew little about it if he had to admit it. In fact he hadn't even know it had a Monarchy until he'd been offered the job. He looked at it as a job opportunity, an education and a chance to meet some ladies.

He smiled as he seen the lake, taking in his wonderful surroundings, it was a most beautiful sight. The moon shone directly on it, bouncing off and illuminating the beautiful surroundings. The sky was almost clear, sprinkled with glowing stars and dusty, harmless clouds.

Sitting down on a bench, he sighed - this was a job he could defiantly grow to like. He felt at home already and for the first time in years, he felt peaceful.

Suddenly, out of no where someone was gliding towards him from the other side- it wasn't a someone, it was a woman.

His breath caught in his chest as the moonlight suddenly illuminated her shadowy features. She was exquisite looking, but clearly not a member of staff. Her silky dress clung to every perfect curve of her body and she almost seemed to float along the ground. Her blonde hair fell softly around her face, a little like a halo - decorated by the diamonds that adorned the tiara on her head and the necklace cascading around her neck, she seemed to sparkle, just like the stars above her. Her eyes burned at him through the dark as they met his in wonderment, like the blue flame of a gas lamp. Her face was soft and pale as she drew nearer him.

"hello", he suddenly said, his tongue speaking before he could stop it. She simply smiled,

"hello".

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As Clarisse wandered down to the lake, lost in her thought about her quickly diminishing marriage, she didn't notice the man sitting on her bench but when she did, oh how he took her breath away.

He was devastating looking. His muscles bulged a little from his shirt, but not too much. His dark olive skin enhanced his deep, intense eyes. His suit was impeccably tailored, his beard perfectly cut and his eyes stared into her. They were dark and deep and murky and clear and oh, how she was sure there where more than a million words to explain how beautiful his eyes were at that moment. As she neared him, they studied her further - making her feel wonderfully self conscious.

"hello", he suddenly smiled, catching her more than a little off guard. She smiled slightly, still trying to calm down from just seeing this mysterious man, never mind talking to him.

"hello", she simply answered, as her stomach done a little flip.

"what are you doing on my bench?", she questioned, sitting down beside the man. He smelled quite wonderful, a mix of sunny orange and musky aftershave.

" I apologise", he smiled, laughing slightly.

"you are forgiven…Mr?", she said, suddenly realising she had a wonderfully easy rapport with this man without even knowing his name.

"Joseph, simply Joseph", he answered, looking at her. She smiled coyly, her eyes dancing with delight.

"Joseph", she repeated. He smiled as she whispered his name, enthralled by her melodic voice and how she sounded dreamy when she spoke. Clarisse wasn't aware of it, but she was forgetting who she was, her life, her loveless marriage.

"and your name?", he questioned, smiling at her again. She hesitated for a moment, knowing the game might just be up - that she could no longer escape. Escaping seemed terribly easy with this Joseph, he let her escape and somehow, his asking her name was a cruel way to bring her back to reality.

"Clarisse, I am Clarisse", she finally said, after he waited for what felt like forever.

"hello Clarisse", he offered, lifting her hand and kissing it gently, " I think you are an angel". Her rich laugh bounced off the trees, echoing around them. He didn't know who she was, and how it made her feel wonderful!

" I think not, but you are a charmer", she smiled, inching away from him warily, " who are you Joseph, you have not yet told me who you are".

She was growing to like him more by the second. She loved the mystery about him, the energy he seemed to exude even when he was just sitting next to her. She suddenly felt the need to know him, everything about him. She wanted to know why he was sitting, not aware of who she was, flirting with her mercilessly.

"I work here, I'm the new head of security", he smiled, " I will assume from your attire you most certainly don't work here", he added. She smiled that wonderful, bright smile. So this was the new head of security all the maids had been buzzing about. They were right, God! He was devastating. Yet, she knew he could be nothing more to her, even though she hoped, no, wanted him to be. He was wonderfully enticing and interesting and enthralling. She felt herself so drawn to him, as if he could control her, she felt as if she was in love…. But that was stupid, in her world love did not exist.

God she was enthralling and he knew he was falling, falling badly. The way her dress clung to her made him tingle, she was especially beautiful. The way the moonlight shadowed her porcelain skin, the way the summer air smelled when it mixed with her perfume.

"no you'd be right", she laughed, plucking a rose from the rose bush next to the bench and fingering it idly.

"those are the Queens roses", he warned, " I don't know if she'd like you to do that".

"trust me, she wont mind", she smiled, dropping one of the petals on the grass delicately.

"you know her? I have not met her yet", he stated, smiling still as she gently fingered the petals absent mended.

"yes you have", she laughed, " these are my roses". She smiled glitteringly one last time as she stood up, just before she disappeared and before both of them realised there was no turning back.

Joseph sat in shock for a moment, realising he had just had a conversation with none other than the woman he was supposed to protect and god, she was beautiful. For the first time in his gigolo life, he was attracted to a woman not just because of her looks. He loved the beautiful knowledge that seemed to hover about her, making her seem heavenly. He had never felt like this and to be honest he wasn't sure if he liked it. No, he sighed reminding himself he was extremely attracted to a married woman and anyway, he knew he was being silly - he'd never fall in love, it sounded too much like hard work.

He still wasn't sure if he should believe her, she looked no older than him and he though it was a little unreal she should be married -let alone finished school, have two children or be the Queen of a country. Maybe it was just hope, she was just a maid pretending to be the Queen - maybe someone he had the chance to actually get anywhere near to, never mind someone who believed he was simply an employee.

He heaved himself up, finished his rounds and strode up to the palace. As the music grew louder with every step and the gravel crunched under his feet, her beautiful face would not disappear from his thoughts, they way she smelled seemed to cling to him - or was it just his imagination. Was it possible you could fall in love at first glance, he'd never thought it was but something told him he was in love with her.

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Clarisse sat down on the bench by the lake, admiring her wedding band as it glinted in the mid summer sun. she looked up, smiling at her husband as he strutted towards her from across the edge of the lake. Dressed in black, he was just as devastating as he had been all those years ago, when she had first met him. Though so much had changed, she still loved the things about him she had witnessed that night.

"hello", he growled, kissing her on the forehead as he came to stand in front of her. She tilted her head up, kissing him on the lips softly.

"hello". She leaned into him as he sat down, wrapping his arm loosely around her waist.

"what are you doing here?", he questioned softly, plucking a rose from the rose bush beside him and handing her it. She smiled in recognition as she took it, fingering the petals gently.

"I don't know why I'm here", she smiled truthfully, squeezing his hand, " perhaps it reminds me of you".

" I think so", he whispered, kissing her forehead.

" you know", he said, suddenly thoughtful, " I think I fell in love with you that night". She looked at him, taking his words in for a moment.

" I think I did to", she said finally, " but so long……". She trailed off, looking up towards the sky, " so long to admit it". He smiled at her knowingly and although she couldn't see his eyes from behind his sun glasses, she knew they were secretly reassuring her.

"love, it never existed in my world", she sighed, kissing his cheek as she stood up. He joined her, taking her in his arms and pressing her against him with ferocious passion.

" it does now".

Hope you liked it, I enjoyed writing it. Please R&R.

Yours,

M