Disclaimer: I do not own the Lady of Shalott of Ever After. I

A/N: First Ever after fanfic. Tell me what you think! Please review!

Chapter 1

Danielle ran, her hair streaming out behind her. There was only one thought in her mind: to escape Le Pieu's ownership. She could hear the horses' hoofs beating the ground behind her. Tears flew from her eyes. For the first time since the masque, she was crying. She was mourning the loss of her love, and the loss of her freedom. She was also running for her life. Because life in Le Pieu's manor was no life at all.

And so she ran.

On either side the river lie
Long fields of barley and of rye,
That clothe the wold and meet the sky;
And through the field the road run by
To many-tower'd Camelot;

The river. That's where she would head. There she could lose the hounds that followed so closely behind. The river.

There it was! Glistening, amongst the pine trees that crowded both its banks, the river sparkled dangerously. Looking up, Danielle could see a narrow well-used path that led down to the palace. His palace. It was painful even thinking his name.

No. Not here. She couldn't possibly wade through the river here. There were too many people that would see her on the other side. They would find her too easily.

The hounds yapped in the distance.

Stricken by a sudden panic, Danielle turned back to the pinewoods and fled. She would find another place in the river to cross later.

Willows whiten, aspens quiver,
Little breezes dusk and shiver
Through the wave that runs for ever
By the island in the river
Flowing down to Camelot.
Four grey walls, and four grey towers,
Overlook a space of flowers,
And the silent isle imbowers
The Lady of Shalott.

On good days, she liked to imagine herself as the Lady of Shalott imprisoned in a tower. Except her tower was a manor. And the curse was Le Pieu. No one, save her family, knew where she was. Henry would never find her. And why would he want to? She had deceived him. He was probably married to Marguerite by now. He probably never wanted to see her again.

And all this time she was running… running…

There had to be a good crossing spot somewhere… She started running in the general direction of the river.

The hounds were closing in.

Nearly there… nearly there. She could hear the sound of water thundering nearby. She headed towards it. What other choice did she have?

She chanced a glance behind her.

The guards were on her heels.

Just get to the river… She doubted that they could swim. She started pushing through bushes in a frantic desperation. The branches and thorns tore mercilessly at her clothes and scratched her face viciously.

Nearly there.

The one advantage she had in this situation was that she was small. Danielle could get through places that the big horses could not.

The disadvantages? Too many to count.

The river was near… She ran with the last burst of energy she had. Towards the river. It was a few steps ahead…

A cliff!

She glanced over the edge of the cliff in terror. A thundering waterfall. Danielle wondered briefly why she hadn't noticed the noise. There was no time to think now. The riders formed a semicircle around her, backing her against the edge of the cliff. The dogs didn't come nearer, but stayed by the riders, snarling and showing their teeth.

"Come along now. Monsieur will not be happy." The guard bared his teeth in a cruel, humourless grin. "If you're lucky, he'll have mercy on you, and only whip you hard enough to disable you for a week."

That did it.

Danielle closed her eyes, rallying up the energy and strength she needed.

And then she jumped.

Over the cliff.

Into the raging depths of the waterfall.