Author's Notes: I'll make this quick because I know it's been a while since I updated! Thank you for being patient. Each chapter is taking much longer to write, but it is one of my goals to finally finish this story.
This chapter is quite long, but a lot happens in it to make up for my lack of updates. Sorry it wasn't clear before. It's not as clear in the edited version, but Serenity and Endymion have not had sex. They've done certain things, but Serenity's virginity is still intact. The reason why I have to edit it on FFNET is because M is the highest rating, which doesn't really affect the story in terms of plot... just takes a lot of the smut out.
Anyways! Enjoy this chapter. Leave questions, comments or feedback if you have any!
'Cause all of me loves all of you
Love your curves and all your edges
All your perfect imperfections
Give your all to me
I'll give my all to you
"All of Me" John Legend
Chapter 9: Betrayal
Endymion stared listlessly at the ceiling, one hand behind his head, the other, wrapped securely around the shoulders of the slumbering maiden next to him. She curled into his form with one arm draped across his chest. Endymion glanced down briefly, his lips immediately curling into a smirk when he caught a glimpse of her furrowed eyebrows, deep in thought through the depths of her slumber.
It was not strange for him to wake up next to a woman. He enjoyed waking next to a warm, naked body, having his way once more with them, before sending them away. No, what was strange for him was to wake up with a woman in a bed that was not his. Even she would come to his bed at night.
Endymion frowned, as the sour memory of her invaded its way once more into his thoughts. The only times he was truly able to forget her, was when he was quarreling with Serena. Although initially the golden maid annoyingly reminded him of her, ever so slowly, the more he was drawn into her whirlwind of fury, Endymion realized he was finally able to stop thinking about her.
The Prince shook his head at the cruel twist of fate, that this tiny, infuriating, uncultured virgin maid, who brought him nothing but annoyance and anger, gave him the exact solace he needed.
He was determined to have her. The more she denied him, the more he craved for the feeling of her warmth and wetness clinging all around him as she screamed his name throughout the halls of the castle. She allowed him teasing, shallow glimpses into the pleasures she was capable of giving him, which both satiated him and left him hungry for more.
The slight rustling next to him pulled him from his unsettling thoughts. The golden maiden stirred, the moonlight encapsulating her drowsy form as her sleepy, blue eyes slowly fluttered open. Her weary eyes met with his, brows coming together once more as her vision began focus. "Prince?"
"Were you expecting someone else?" he asked with a jesting tone, although a part of him was slightly curious.
The golden temptress slowly sat up, resting forward on the palm of her hands. The white sheet which had covered her modesty revealed her naked chest to him, and Endymion immediately felt his arousal stir. Serenity's eyes widened, her hands scrambling to reach for the sheet, but were stopped by his grip around her wrist.
"Leave it," Endymion ordered, his eyes gazing hungrily over her supple breasts. He was hard simply from the sight of her naked form.
Serenity watched him carefully, seeing the desire begin to set a fire in his eyes. Despite their intimacy, she had never let a man see her naked before, and she was not quite comfortable yet with the idea of being yearned for.
And the Prince yearned for her, most definitely. He had proven that most definitely, bringing her to pleasurable heights over and over, and just when she thought he had his fill, he took her there once more. Serenity had heard tales of the womanizing Prince and knew he must have been skilled as a lover, but never in her right mind did she ever think he was that skilled.
Her eyes briefly glanced over at the window. "It is night time already?"
"Seems like we over exhausted ourselves," he said with a grin, before sitting up and pushing her back to the bed. Serenity gasped as he mounted her, the desire now blazing in his darkened midnight eyes. Despite her protests, Serenity could not deny she too, began to crave for that pleasurable tumble once more.
Endymion leaned in and kissed her lips, his eager hands immediately grabbing a hold of her breast. Her moan was engulfed in his passionate kiss as he gently teased her nipple, sending a jolt of pleasure to her core. Ever so slowly, his hand began to move to the spot between her legs that she wished he would touch.
Just as she was about to brace herself, the faint, yet distinct sound of a horn, bellowing through the fields caused Endymion to stop his movements, pulling away from her flushed lips. Serenity watched his pensive stare curiously. "Prince, what-"
"Silence," Endymion ordered, his finger gently pressing on her pursed lips. Had he heard correctly? He heard the horn once more, confirming his suspicions. He sighed frustratedly, hanging his head while muttering curses she would dare not repeat beneath his breath.
The Prince abruptly pulled away from her completely. Serenity slowly sat up, her eyes following his retreating form. "Prince? What was that?"
Endymion sat on the side of the bed and began to pick his discarded clothes off the floor. "Rebels," he grumbled whilst putting on his pants.
Serenity tilted her head, pulling the sheet to cover her naked form. "Rebels? Is that not why you have guards?"
The Prince chuckled as he began to button his shirt. "I am a Prince, but I am a soldier as well. The best in our kingdom. If the Prince does not fight alongside his men, then he is not a Prince worth fighting for."
Although she could not fully understand the heart of a soldier, a part of her admired that he was at least noble towards his men. Truthfully, she did not want him to leave. Despite her best efforts and all the warnings in her head, the Prince provided her a level of comfort that she was slowly becoming dependent on.
Serenity's eyes grew wide when she felt his fingers lift her chin up, his midnight blue eyes gazing into hers. "That solemn expression. Will you miss me that much?"
She couldn't help but roll her eyes. He truly knew how to ruin a pleasant mood. "I would rather gauge my eyes out than sit here missing you," Serenity grumbled.
The Prince's eyes narrowed in her direction, before his hand wrapped around the back of her neck, pulling her lips towards him once more. Serenity's eyes grew wide, her heart swelling in her chest from his deep kiss as her hands naturally settled onto his chest once more. Grabbing her bottom lip in between his teeth, he nibbled ever so gently while his hand dipped between her legs, stroking her already wet core with his fingers.
Serenity gasped into his kiss, hands holding tightly onto his shirt as he began to stroke her. "What was that again about gauging your eyes?" he teased, after pulling away from her kiss, a confident grin forming on his lips.
The Princess gasped once more, clenching her eyes shut as the pleasure she had longed for returned. "Stay," she found herself saying, as her fingers slowly reached for his buttons.
Endymion quickly grabbed her hand in his, yanking her wandering hands away from his chest. His eyes centered in on her pouting lip, using all of his self-control not to take it in his lips once more. Removing his hand from between her legs, Endymion shook his head. "This is why men do not bring women to the battlefields. Nothing would be accomplished."
The Prince stood from the bed, and once the warmth and pleasure that had consumed her dissipated abruptly, so did the cloudiness in her head. Shaking her head, Serenity pulled the covers to her chest, wondering what had come over her so suddenly, despite the insatiable feeling in her stomach.
She hadn't noticed Endymion towering above her, lifting her chin up once more to meet his piercing stare. "I will send for you once I return," he vowed, before placing a soft kiss on her lips, leaving her breathless once more.
As she watched the Prince retreat from her room, Serenity touched her lips with her fingers. Her body suddenly growing cold, she wrapped her arms around her shoulders. Staring through the window into the vast darkness surrounding the bright moon, Serenity rested her weary head on the top of her knees, finding herself wishing that the Prince would return soon. The longer he was gone, the more she would be reminded of the loneliness in her heart.
A gentle knock on the door roused her from her thoughts moments later, her head lifting up slowly from her knees. Who would be summoning her at this hour? Was it the Prince returning?
Serenity watched the door with hesitant eyes before she heard another knock. Rising from the bed, Serenity slowly placed on her nightgown before making her way towards the door. As her hand grasped the door knob, Serenity frowned as an unsettling feeling began to rumble within her stomach.
Suddenly, the door burst wide open. Before she had a moment to react, a heavy object struck the side of her face, throwing her vision and consciousness into darkness, but not before seeing a familiar golden haired maid towering above her.
Serenity wasn't sure what it was that woke her first; the pounding pain on the side of her head, or the faint voices murmuring around her. Ever so slowly, Serenity opened her eyes, squinting as the vision of a flickering flame began to focus.
The air around her was cold and damp; the chill piercing through her to the bone, with a foul scent reeking throughout the room. Serenity's eyes grew large as a dreadful sense of familiarity washed over her. Wherever she was, she had been here before.
Her initial reaction was to move, but it was then she realized her hands had been bound behind her. Sge attempted to move her legs, but found her body had been bound to a chair. Her scream for help, muffled by a cloth. The panic and fear began to take over her senses, her eyes scanning around the room for an escape.
"You're awake," a voice called to her from across the room. Serenity's eyes darted towards the figure, and immediately narrowed once she recognized her captor.
"Elizabeth," Serenity grumbled against the cloth.
The golden-haired maid slowly approached her, her light blue eyes casting a sinister glare in her direction, as her hands wrapped around the cloth in Serenity's mouth and pulled it from her lips. "As long as you do not scream, you are free to speak."
"Why have you brought me here?!" Serenity demanded.
Elizabeth's placed her hands on Serenity's shoulders, eying her cautiously. "Is a dungeon not befitting for a person in need of punishment?"
"Punishment for what?"
Elizabeth slowly leaned in towards the Princess until her face was mere inches from hers. Up close, Serenity could see the youthful features of her assailant beneath the glaring scowl cast upon her. Bit by bit, Elizabeth's pink lips curled into a grin before a hand reached out to tug her roughly by the hair. "For masquerading as one of us, Princess Serenity."
Her scalp burned in pain as Serenity's eyes widened in horror. "What are you talking about-"
The sound of Elizabeth's hand striking across Serenity's face rang against the dungeon walls. Serenity's eyes remained closed as her right cheek flared in pain. Her tongue immediately tasted something coppery, soon after realizing Elizabeth had drawn blood.
"How dare you think you can infiltrate our kingdom and pretend to be one of us," Elizabeth growled, eyes darkly narrowing. "Were you sent by your mother to spy on us?"
Serenity avoided the maid's vengeful scowl, her eyes settling on a spot on the ground. Her hands slowly tried to free herself from the binds beneath her, but they had been wrapped around her hands tightly.
Another slap to the face was her punishment for silence. "Answer me, Moonling!"
The Princess shook her head to shake off the lightheadedness from the slap. How did she manage to find out her identity? Serenity knew the best thing to do would be to remain silent. Despite Elizabeth's claims, she had no proof. Right?
"You are quite the stubborn one, Princess," Elizabeth mumbled with annoyance. "Tell me, who let you in? Did you trick one of the generals into letting you in? It was Kunzite, wasn't it?"
Even though Serenity knew she had to remain silent, she found herself shaking her head almost instantly. "It was not Kunzite," she found herself admitting out loud. If she was going to be exposed, she would not let Kunzite fall with her.
"So, you admit you were trying to infiltrate our kingdom." Any sign of tenderness faded completely from the maid's expression, as her hand roughly grabbed a hold of Serenity's chin, forcing the Princess to look at her.
Serenity's eyes met with her icy cold blue ones, suddenly reminding her of the way the Prince used to stare at her. Did that mean there was some warmth hidden beneath Elizabeth as well? Or were all Terrans like this? "I... was not trying to infiltrate anything," Serenity finally admitted.
"Then why, why are you here?"
The Princess shook her head. "I cannot say why."
Elizabeth released her chin for a brief moment, before reeling her hand back, and striking the Princess in her stomach. Serenity gasped as the wind had been knocked out of her lungs, before collapsing forward. Pulling her head back once more by her hair, Elizabeth glared menacingly at the Princess. "You were sent here to cast a spell on our Prince, weren't you?!"
Serenity flinched as the pain from her scalp burned, as well as the wrenching pain her stomach. "The Prince?" she breathed, eyebrows slightly furrowing. Why would she bring the Prince into this? "I have no intentions to cast any spell on the Prince."
"Lies! Why else would Prince Endymion be so enamoured with the likes of you?" Elizabeth demanded, before pulling out a small knife. Serenity's winced as the cool metal was pressed against her cheek, ready to draw more blood.
"The Prince... is not enamoured with me," Serenity tried to reassure her, her eyes searching for hers.
"More lies! You must have tricked him with your Moonling sorcery. I've been watching the Prince for years, and not once... not once did he ever look at me the way he looks at you." Elizabeth's hand shook with anger and rage, pressing the blade further into her skin.
Serenity cried when she felt the blade pierce her skin as the blood began to trickle down her face. Her eyes gazed into Elizabeth's, pausing slightly when something had caught her eye. Beneath the cold gaze, Serenity could sense something vulnerable and human in the depths of Elizabeth's eyes. Similar to the hurt look the Prince had shown her in their first meeting with the King.
The Princess' eyes widened, suddenly understanding why Elizabeth had been so antagonistic to her from the very beginning. Something she should have seen and noticed before.
"You... you love him, don't you?"
Elizabeth's body stiffened, her eyes growing larger. Serenity could see the warmth emanating through her eyes, if only for a brief second, before Elizabeth reeled back and sliced the knife across her face.
Serenity screamed as she felt the blade silence across her cheek, barely missing her lips and thankfully not her eyes. After finally catching her breath, Elizabeth glared at her once more before spitting in her direction. "Do not presume you know anything about me, Moonling."
Lifting her head up weakly, Serenity watched as Elizabeth motioned to the two figures behind her. "Kiko, Margaery. Summon the Prince. It's time we tell our Prince about this Moonling's treachery."
She couldn't see his face, but her body recognized the warmth that held her. She had felt it before, long ago.
His gloved hand gently stroked the side of her face, brushing the hair from her eyes. Her eyes followed his long arm, up the seams of the grey sleeves up to the slightly opened collar, to the rose embellished clasps which held his flowing, white cape in place.
Her eyes became wide as her heart stilled in her chest. "Kunzite?"
"Serena," he whispered softly, yet she was unable to see his face. Confused eyes glanced up at the figure as her eyebrows pressed together. Why was he calling her by that name?
"That's not my name, Kunzite. Call me 'Serenity', like you did before."
"Serena...!" he called once more, this time with more haste.
Shaky hands reached forward, placing a hesitant and careful hold on the figure's face. The blinding light behind him that hid his face vanished, and ever so slowly, the figure's face came into view.
Instead of the long, silver hair she had expected, midnight black hair came into view. Instead of the soft gaze, she was met with that piercing stare of his ocean blue eyes. Her mouth opened to speak, but no words were able to come out. "Prince?"
With a cry, Serenity suddenly jerked up. Tight hands tensed around her shoulders, as the piercing eyes she thought she had been dreaming were staring back at her, real as ever. Her eyes flitted around the damp, dark room, suddenly remembering where she was.
"Prince...?" Serenity whispered once more. "What are you doing here?"
She didn't miss that look of relief splashing across the Prince's face. "The maids pleaded that I accompany them to the dungeons after I returned, saying you were in danger," Endymion explained, before untying her bounded arms and legs and examining her face.
Just like her dream, the Prince's hand reached forward to gently graze her face, briefly stopping at the cut on her face. Serenity winced from his touch, her face slightly throbbing from the pain. Her hair dishevelled, face littered with dirt, bruises and traces of dried blood, Endymion almost didn't recognize the woman in front of him.
The look of relief gradually vanished from the Prince's face as his eyes narrowed and his grip around her shoulders tightened painfully. The warmth she had once seen in his eyes turned into a blaze of fury, before the Prince stood up. Pulling the sword from his sheath, Endymion turned his back to her, arm extended with his sword in hand.
"Which one of you wenches did this?!" Endymion demanded.
"Prince Endymion," Elizabeth finally spoke, trying to remain brave in front of the Prince's sword. "There is something you must know about Serena."
"You have ten seconds to explain before I rip all of your heads from your body," Endymion growled darkly. Serenity's stomach clenched at the fire and anger in his voice.
"I saw her yesterday, your grace," Kiko stepped forward, pointing an accusing finger in her direction. "She was consorting with the Moon Queen in her room."
Serenity's eyes widened in horror at the sight of Endymion's back to her, as the panic began to course through her body. If she didn't try to stop them, they would tell the Prince everything. "Prince, I can explain everything-"
"At first, I thought perhaps she was a spy," Kiko intervened. "But then, I saw the mark on her forehead. The mark that belongs to those born in the line of the moon royalty."
As their words ran through his head, Endymion gripped the sword tightly in his hand, wanting nothing more than to silence the three with one swift movement of his sword. Perhaps not only a few weeks ago, he would have believed their words without question. He did believe them not long ago, fuelling his suspicions with thoughts that the woman behind him must have been the Moon Princess that everyone was looking for.
But now, as his heart thrashed against his chest, his hand slightly shaking around the sheath of his sword, he wanted nothing more than for it to be a lie.
"Maid," he beckoned without turning his head to look at her. "Tell me what they are saying is a lie," he demanded, eyes narrowing in the three's direction.
She was relieved he did not turn back to look at her. Hand to her chest, Serenity did not know why her heart felt so heavy at that moment. She knew that this day would come; that her identity would eventually be revealed, and that her secrets would come forth.
She did not expect, however, to feel so conflicted within her heart. Serenity knew that the Prince would one day eventually find out about her. What she hadn't expected, was for her to wish he would not be disappointed.
"Prince," Serenity began, eyes focusing on his back. "I did not mean to deceive you."
Endymion felt his body come to a standstill, his feet rooted to his spot. As if time had slowed down, Serenity watched Endymion slowly turn to face her, his sword lowering as his eyes began to search for hers.
"What are you saying, Serena?" he demanded, his face slightly darkening as the suspicions he had buried deep within his heart began to bubble to the surface.
Serenity drew in a deep breath, her eyes settling on his. "My name... isn't Serena."
"I am in no mood for games, Serena," Endymion growled threateningly, taking another step towards her.
He stopped when she raised her hand in front of him. She tried to remain as unwavering and strong as she could in front of him. Inside, she was shaking with fear and worry. Not because he was about to find out who she was, but because she was scared about what he would think when he found out.
Reluctantly, Serenity closed her eyes, concentrating on the warmth circling within her heart, channelling the power from within. She could feel the warmth cascading throughout her body, before rising to her forehead. Suddenly, her forehead began to emit a blinding light that showered the room in its light.
Endymion raised his arm to shield his eyes from the light, shocked by the warmth of it. As the light began to die down, the Prince slowly lowered his arm as his eyes once more, began to adjust to the darkness of the room. His eyes searched for hers once more, before widening at the sight in front of him. "No," he whispered, taking a step back.
Shining brightly on her forehead was the symbol of everything his people stood against. The birthmark and proof of her birthright as their enemy, the crescent moon, staring at him straight in the face, as if it were mocking him for not believing his suspicions before.
Serenity slowly opened her eyes, hesitantly looking up to see his reaction. She saw the hurt and confusion flash across his face, and as if on cue, her heart was filled with a sinking heavy feeling, and her stomach clenched tightly. She tried to meet his gaze calmly, worried that any slight movement would set him off. "Prince," she called without thinking, eyes continuing to search for his.
Endymion continued to stare at her in disbelief, as the anger, confusion, and frustration coursed through his veins. He had been right! This entire time, right under his nose, was their enemy? "You're... you're the Moon Princess?" Sadly, Serenity nodded, wishing he hadn't sounded so disappointed.
Endymion took a threatening step forward, raising his sword in her direction, much to both of their surprise. He had been spending this entire time... with the Moon Princess? "You lied to me," he seethed, hand shaking slightly as his eyes narrowed icily in her direction.
Serenity took a cautious step back as her eyes were met with that cold stare she hated. Like their first meeting, when he would stare through her instead of at her. She never knew how much she hated that stare, and how much she wished he would look at her with those warm, soothing eyes she had grown accustomed to, until that very moment.
"She is one of them, Prince Endymion. She has been lying to us all, living within the walls of her castle in order to gather information and report back to her mother," Elizabeth finally spoke up, as she walked towards him.
It couldn't be.. she couldn't possibly be... He had shared, no, confided things with her that he hadn't even told Kunzite. This entire time, she had been relaying it all to her mother? Hands trembling at his side, Endymion could not help but scowl at the maid—no, Princess, as her betrayal began to sink in. "Is it true?" he growled, his face darkening by the second.
She could not deny that for once, a part of her truly feared the man in front of her. Despite their many altercations, she had never seen the Prince so angry before. "You've always known, Prince," Serenity challenged, "Deep down, you've always known."
"Do not presume you know anything about me, Moonling!" he shouted suddenly. Serenity took another step back, surprised by his sudden shift in tone. Was he more upset that she was the Moon Princess, or that she had lied to him? "You were acting as a spy?!"
Serenity met his gaze calmly, despite the rage and anger that began to boil within her as well. He thought she was a spy?! "Why are you so quick to believe them, Prince? Yes, it is true, I lied to you about my identity, but I did not come to spy on you or your kingdom!" She too had shared some personal things with him, and yet, he was looking at her as if she had sold him out to her mother.
"Then why are you here, your highness?" he demanded angrily. Serenity jerked back slightly, not liking the way he addressed her. "Why go so far to pretend to be someone else? What other possible reason could you have for doing this?!"
Serenity's mouth opened, but nothing came out. She knew she couldn't explain the situation with Elizabeth in front of her. Couldn't the Prince piece it all together? "I... I cannot say why, but..." She took a daring step forward. If she didn't do anything about this now, he would misunderstand and never forgive her.
"Trust me, Prince," she pleaded, and without thinking, she reached forward to grasp his sleeve, surprising the both of them. "I cannot say why, but you must trust me. I did not come here to gather intelligence, or to hurt you."
Endymion stared at her shaking hand that gripped his sleeve ever so tightly. He turned to face her as their eyes met. Although she had always had her way with her words, Endymion could see what she was thinking through her blue eyes. They were a window to her soul, unknowingly revealing herself to the world. To him. For a brief moment in time, as Serena—no, Serenity, stared so pleadingly at him, he felt as if he could trust her.
Trust. There were only a few people in this world that he could trust. She was one of them, and in the end, she too, betrayed him. Jaedite, Nephrite, Zoicite, Kunzite...
The Prince's brow furrowed across his temple. Kunzite...? The one person he trusted with his life... did he lie to him when he said she wasn't the Moon Princess? Had he known this entire time? If Kunzite lied to him, then who could in the world could he trust?
"Did Kunzite know?" Endymion found himself asking out loud, despite not wanting to know the answer.
Serenity frowned, taken aback suddenly by his question, stared back at him with a confused look. "What.. what does that matter?"
"Did he know, or not?!" he bellowed loudly, grabbing her by the arm.
"Yes!" she shouted back, wincing from his powerful grip. Endymion clenched his jaw as he felt his stomach harden from her words. He lied to him? Why did Kunzite feel he needed to keep this from him? Why did she feel Kunzite was trustworthy enough to bare her secret, and not him? Was he not trustworthy enough for the both of them? His grip around her arm tightened, causing Serenity to gasps beneath his grasp.
Without warning, Endymion released his hold around her, pushing her away from him. Serenity frowned as he turned away from her once more, rubbing her arm. "Why does it matter if he knew, Prince?"
"While I can understand being lied to by the likes of you, Kunzite, on the other hand..." Endymion swallowed deeply, before shaking his head. "I do not like being lied to, Moonling."
"Prince," Serenity pleaded once more, wishing he would turn to face her. "Kunzite and I did not betray you. I... I came here for a reason that I cannot explain in front of them, but if you would just trust me, I can tell you everythi-"
"Silence," he commanded angrily without looking over his shoulder. "I was foolish enough to think that perhaps... perhaps, you could be trusted."
Serenity took a step back in disbelief, her heart feeling as if it shattered into pieces within her chest. A tightness curled in her throat as she tried to argue, but nothing would come out. "Prince..."
"What shall we do with the Moonling?" Elizabeth interrupted.
He wanted nothing more than to punish the Moonling for lying to him. For making Kunzite lie to him. For trusting Kunzite over him. For making him believe, for a moment, he could trust her... for making him almost open his heart to her...
Yet, despite the and need for revenge, Endymion knew he could not bring Serenity to his father. If his father knew the Moon Princess was under his nose the entire time... no one would be safe from his father's wrath. "Keep the Princess here."
"Should we not bring her to the King?" Kiko asked, confused as to why the Prince wanted to keep her hidden.
"Are you disobeying your Prince's orders?" Endymion demanded, eyes narrowing icily. Kiko shook her head and stood up immediately. "Keep her locked until I figure out what to do with her. No one must know she was here."
Serenity's eyes widened in horror at the idea of being locked in the dungeon, but most importantly, she did not want him to leave her here, thinking she wanted to betray him. "Prince! You must believe me. I am not who you think I am!"
"You're right," Endymion replied, looking over his shoulder, but not at her. "You're not who I thought you were at all."
She shook her head in disbelief, holding back the tears that began to well in her eyes. "Prince," she pleaded once more, desperately wishing to the Gods he would look at her once more.
"Your grace. Surely, the Moonling deserves a more fitting punishment than imprisonment for betraying you," Elizabeth suggested, wondering why the Prince was showing such mercy in front of the enemy.
"Having her rot away in the dungeons, away from her family and friends is a punishment I should have bestowed upon her in the beginning," Endymion revealed with a cold tone.
As he began to walk away from her, the Princess stepped forward once more. "Prince!" she pleaded. Stopping in his tracks, Serenity blinked back the tears, before quickly wiping them away, not wanting him to see. "If you walk away... you... are truly, the biggest fool I will ever know."
His shoulders looked smaller than before, and his back, which stood proudly before, was slumped over slightly. Serenity's hand clenched tighter at her side, fighting the urge to reach forward and touch his shoulders. She didn't like how small he looked, and wanted nothing more for him to turn around, stand proudly and fight back.
Everything around slowed down, she watched as the Prince, without looking back or saying a word, walked away from her. Serenity tensed, hoping it would stop the trembling that wracked through her body. She forced herself to watch him walk away, hoping and praying that he would change his mind and turn around to face her.
As she heard the door close in front of her, Serenity collapsed to her knees, open palms to the floor, as the tears began to fall one after the other down her face. Her head spun as her lungs tightened painfully as the sobs ripped through her body, wishing and praying she could see the Prince's warm eyes once more.
It took a while for her to find her after losing him at the dungeons. By the luck of the gods, she found him by the waters, lying on a stone bench holding onto a bottle of wine. One arm draped over the side and one leg bent at the knee, Elizabeth wasn't sure if the Prince was sleeping or not.
"Do you intend on standing there and watching me this entire time, maid?" Endymion drawled, not even bothering to look at her. She watched as the Prince she admired took another swig of the wine as she hesitantly approached the Prince.
His midnight hair dishevelled, lips stained with the purple hue of the wine, and his deep blue eyes gazed into the sky with such animosity, as if the Gods had somehow betrayed him. In all her years of working by his side, even when she left, she had never seen the Prince so... distraught before. All because of the Moon Princess? "Your grace," Elizabeth began, taking a seat by the edge near his feet. "Are you alright?"
Placing a hand to his forehead, Endymion shut his eyes. "I should have trusted my own gut," he mumbled, the wine starting to have a small effect on his speech. "I knew she couldn't have been from the East..."
"She fooled us all," she said as she turned to look at the sorrowful Prince.
"She lied to me! To me, Prince Endymion! Do you know how many men I have slain who have lied to my face?" Endymion demanded angrily, shaking the bottle of wine in his hand furiously before some of the wine spilled over the edge. "Yet there she was, day after day, lying straight to my face..."
Elizabeth frowned. Why was the Prince taking the Moonling's betrayal so hard? She had expected him to be angry, but not hurt by her deception. "Why do you not punish her, your grace? Like you said, you've slain the enemies who have dared to lie to your face."
"Worst of all," Endymion continued, ignoring Elizabeth's question without realizing. "She trusts Kunzite with her secret. Kunzite! Of all the bloody people..." The Prince took another swig of the wine. "Of course it's Kunzite... it's always Kunzite. Kunzite.. the person who I thought I could trust the most."
She watched as the Prince covered his eyes with his arm. Where was the strong, valiant Prince she had admired since she was a child? Elizabeth remembered seeing him, ride in on his horse after a battle. He sat up triumphantly, waving to the crowd, who welcomed him with nothing but love and admiration. Since then, she had noticed him from afar, despite knowing that the great, Prince Endymion would never notice the likes of a maid.
Perhaps that was why she loathed the Princess, who strolled in suddenly, insulting the Prince left and right, and yet, the Prince did nothing. She remembered the last person who had done that, but she was a countess. A mere maid—no, a mere moonling, insulted her Prince.
She had expected the Prince to deal with such a betrayal in the same manner as before, yet there he was, sprawled before her, a mere shell of the man she admired. Even the way he was looking at her in the dungeons, and now, the pain in his voice from merely just speaking of the woman... Did the Prince, care for the Moonling? It couldn't be. It couldn't possibly be.
She watched as his chest rose and fell, lips slightly parted. Had he fallen asleep? Elizabeth stood from her seat and walked towards the edge of the bench where his head rested. Going to her knees so that her head was level with his, Elizabeth sighed and watched as Endymion's hand fell from his closed eyes.
"Prince," she whispered. She had never seen the Prince so close before. Reaching forward to touch his cheek, Elizabeth knew she would never be able to be this close to him again. Leaning towards him, her lips hovered just above the Prince's.
"What is going on here?" A voice roared from behind. Elizabeth immediately pulled away, frowning when she saw Nephrite behind.
His voice shook the Prince from his slumber, as he squinted through his blurred vision. "Nephrite?" Endymion called, as a lazy grin curled on his lips.
"Are you drunk, Endymion?" Nephrite shook his head as he approached the inebriated Prince. Endymion thrust the bottle towards the direction of his general.
"I'm the Prince," he growled, continuing to spill the wine everywhere as he waved his hands around. "I can drink when I please!"
"What happened here, Elizabeth?" Nephrite demanded, before ripping the bottle from the Prince's hands.
Just as Elizabeth was about to speak, Endymion rose from his seat, staggering towards his brown-haired general. "Did you know as well, Nephrite? Is that why you warned the wench about me?"
Despite his inebriation, Endymion was quick enough to grab Nephrite by the shirt, pulling the general towards him. Nephrite could have easily pulled himself out of the Prince's grasp, but he allowed the Prince his moment. "Know what, Endymion?"
"About her...!" Endymion shouted, pulling him closer towards him. "Did you know who she was?!"
By the look on his face, Nephrite knew exactly what the Prince was talking about. His face softening, Nephrite released a heavy sigh. "How did you find out?"
The Prince's eyes narrowed at his general as his grip on his shirt tightened drastically. How many people knew? "You knew she was a spy?!"
Nephrite's eyebrows drew together, shaking his head. "She wasn't a spy, Endymion."
"Of course she was! Why else would the Moon Princess be masquerading as one of us?"
"Your grace," Nephrite began, as his hands reached around the Prince's grip. "I cannot explain why just yet, but if you release me, I can-"
With a growl of frustration, Endymion tackled Nephrite to the ground. Nephrite grunted as he landed painfully on his back, with the Prince hovering above him, never releasing his grip on his shirt. "Endymion! Are you mad?!" Nephrite demanded, before the Prince shoved him once more onto the ground.
"Why does everyone think they can keep things from me?!" the Prince demanded angrily, shoving Nephrite once more into the ground. "You are my adviser, Nephrite. You do not keep things from me."
The brown-haired general glared at his Prince as the back of his head throbbed from being pushed into the ground behind him. There was something about the way the Prince had been glaring. Something in his eyes that he hadn't seen in a long time of knowing the Prince. It wasn't just anger, which was something he had seen often. There was something else in the depths of his eyes, mixed with the rage and frustration.
Nephrite's face softened, suddenly realizing why the Prince was reacting the way he had. How could he be so stupid?! "Endymion... you're in love with her, aren't you?"
As his grip tightened around Nephrite's shirt, Endymion's eyes widened. Nephrite studied his reaction curiously, frowning in disappointment soon after. Resting his head against the ground, the general sighed heavily. "I knew this would happen. Do you not realize how foolish it is to fall for-"
"I am not in love with the wench," the Prince argued suddenly, releasing his hold around the general's shirt before pushing himself off the floor and stumbling to his feet.
"Whatever the reason is, we cannot let the King find out about the Princess," Nephrite explained, slowly rising to his feet as well.
Elizabeth's eyes flickered with anger; her hands resting at her hips, relieved at the Prince's denial. "Why in the world are we protecting this Moonling?"
Nephrite returned the look of anger directly at her. "This is not something that is meant to be discussed with you, Elizabeth."
Eyes narrowing at the chestnut-haired general, Elizabeth scoffed to the side. "What kind of spell has this Moonling cast to make you all wait on her hand and foot? I should not have to be the one to send her out into the woods and-"
The blonde maid's eyes widened in horror at her slip. Endymion slowly turned to face her, eyes glaring at her sharply. "The woods? My exact order was to leave her in the dungeons, was it not?!"
Elizabeth took a step back, the rage in his eyes startling her. "I-I... you were not thinking straight, your grace. To keep the Moonling imprisoned would be too merciful-"
Her speech came to a halt as her eyes loomed in on the sharp blade that was inches from her face. Swallowing deeply, Elizabeth felt the beads of sweat slowly fall down the sides of her neck, her heart racing within her chest.
"Whether or not my actions are merciful are none of your concern, maid," he growled with a darkened face, taking a dangerous step closer to the maid.
Fearing that the Prince would hurt her, Nephrite took a step forward, placing a hand on the Prince's chest. "Endymion. If what Elizabeth is saying is true and she was brought to the woods, we must find her now. The forests are littered with monsters, and with little to nothing to defend herself-"
Endymion shrugged off Nephrite's hand, pushing him with his might while slightly stumbling backwards. "She's right. I should have brought that Moonling to my father. She deceived me, so that she could tell her mother what a fool she made of the Prince. Why should she be saved?"
He looked at his Prince, stunned and confused that the Prince could not see the glaring truth through his pride. "Endymion, she wasn't a spy for her mother. She lied about her identity to protect Kunzite."
Endymion stared at his general with wide eyes, his words settling within his hazy mind. "What?"
"She saw Kunzite and Princess Venus together because she thought she had been captured. Because she had no means of returning home, Kunzite had her disguise herself as a maid until he could find a way to send her home," Nephrite explained, never taking his eyes off the Prince.
The Prince remained frozen in his spot, slowly piecing together his encounters with the Princess since their first meeting. "That's why Kunzite had the transportation flask," Endymion thought out loud, as everything began to make sense.
"We need to find her, now. If she dies on Terran lands, it would start a war," Nephrite warned, taking a step towards his Prince.
Every fibre of his body knew that what Nephrite was saying was true, yet Endymion could not will his body to move. Shaking his head, Endymion looked away from his gaze, eyes focusing on the ground. "She's the Moon Princess, Nephrite. If I save her, knowing that..."
Before Endymion could react, Nephrite leaped towards him, grabbing him this time by the shirt. Yanking the Prince towards him, Nephrite glared into the stubborn Prince's eyes. "I thought Kunzite taught you better than this. Moon Princess or not, she's a human being. A human being that a part of you is too stubborn to admit cares for! She could die out there, Endymion. Is that what you want?!"
Endymion had never seen such anger from Nephrite before. Like Kunzite, Nephrite was always skilled at keeping his emotions at bay, but this had been the first time he had seen such emotions flaring from his general.
Despite the part of him that felt betrayed that she lied, the fact that she was doing it to protect Kunzite, Endymion knew he had to find her. But it wasn't just that. Despite how hard he tried to keep his feelings for the Princess a purely physical level, Endymion knew deep down there had been a part of him that had grown to care for her. Nephrite was right. He couldn't let her die out there.
Elizabeth watched the two men for a moment, wondering what her Prince would do. Without uttering a single word, she watched in shock as the Prince turned around and ran in the opposite direction. She had no time to think before she felt a violent tug on her wrist. Elizabeth's eyes met with Nephrite's, anger flickering in his eyes. "You. It's time for us to have a chat, Elizabeth."
Frozen in fear from the menacing glare, Elizabeth glanced over Nephrite's shoulder, only to catch her Prince disappear into the distance.
The first thing Serenity felt was the jagged surface scratching her knees and hands after she had been tossed out of the carriage. The sharp, ice cold gust of wind swirled around her as her knees and hands flared in pain. As she heard the stampeding hoofs of the retreating horse fade into the distance, Serenity hung her head low between her shoulders, breathing in deeply to calm her nerves.
Removing the cloth from her eyes, she hesitantly scanned her surroundings. Sky-high, trees drooped all around her, allowing only slivers of light from the moon to shine through the dense leaves.
They had bound, gagged and blindfolded her moments after the Prince left her cell, and shoved her into a moving carriage. She had no idea how far or where they had taken her, especially since the Prince had ordered them to keep her in the dungeon.
Serenity froze at the recollection of the Prince's languid eyes staring at her. Why couldn't he believe her? How could he trust in Elizabeth's words so easily? Nephrite had warned her that the Prince would be angry for being deceived, but she had not expected him to believe she was a spy! Curling her fists, Serenity pounded the ground next to her. How could he be such a fool?
Why was she so concerned about what the Prince thought of her? Yes, they had been more than amicable recently, and she could not deny the desire she felt for him. But, if that was all it was, why did her heart feel like it had been broken into tiny pieces? She could not get rid of those disappointed eyes from her mind. An uneasy frown settled on her lips before shaking her head. Now was not the time to be thinking of him! She was finally free of him and the confinements of the castle, and now she could finally find a way home.
Gradually, Serenity rose to her feet before dusting the dirt off her legs and arms. Serenity blinked for a few seconds, her stomach suddenly hardening as she came to the realization that she had absolutely no idea where she was. She had no idea where the city was or how far they had taken her. She had no idea how large this forest was, or which direction to go. Her mother wasn't coming for her, Kunzite was no where to be found, and the Prince...
Blinking back the tears, Serenity shook her head. Now was not the time to cry. She had relied too much on other people, and look where it had gotten her. Her mother was right; she needed to trust in herself more and the power within her.
Just as she was about to take a step, Serenity paused when she caught a pair of ominous, bright yellow eyes in the distance. The blood drained from her face from the low, growl that rumbled through the thick air as sharp teeth were bared. Her heart began to thunder within her chest as she remained frozen in her spot, not daring to move as the mysterious creature slowly began to approach her.
She tried to take deep breaths, telling her body not to panic. Panicking would only make things worse. Now was not the time to panic.
Five pairs of the same ominous, yellow eyes came into view from every direction, the growls becoming louder, and the teeth looked as if they were sharper than the first. Her fists trembled at her side, knuckles becoming white as the beads of sweat slowly ran down the back of her neck. The creatures drew in closer, the moonlight showing flickers of their large, beastly bodies.
Their bodies were wolf-like in appearance, but much larger than the ones she had seen in paintings. Brown, gangly fur with long, protruding noses and bared white teeth, they slowly approached her menacingly. Serenity tried not to let the fear take over her body, as difficult as it was. Slowly, she closed her eyes, hands to her chest, praying to the Gods that whatever power had protected her from her attackers would come to her aid once more. Panic slowly began to over take her when the burning sensation she felt from the light would not come.
Opening her eyes, she bolted in the opposite direction, pleading to her legs to run as fast as they could, their roars blaring behind her as they chased after her. Dodging the trees as best as she could, Serenity clutched her chest tightly, not daring to look back. Why was the Ginzuishou not working? She could hear them fast approaching, their hungry growls becoming louder and louder.
She wasn't sure how long she had been running, before everything was spinning when the creature pounced and pinned her shoulders to the ground. Serenity's face turned white as her mouth opened to scream when the yellow eyes bore into hers, teeth bared menacingly as the wolf licked its lips hungrily. She winced from the claws latching into her shoulders, and the hot breath burning her skin.
As she stared into the glowing, yellow eyes in front of her, Serenity blinked back the tears that fell from her eyes. This is where she would die. This is where her life would end. She would die without saying goodbye to her mother or to her friends. She would die before seeing Kunzite once more. She would die without the Prince how sorry she was for lying to him. She would die before telling him she-
Suddenly, the creature above her released a blood chilling, agonizing howl of pain, before releasing its grip on her shoulders. Serenity's eyes widened in horror as the wolf leaped off of her, glaring to the right of her. Slowly turning her head, the Princess gasped as her eyes settled on the figure, blinking rapidly, making sure that what she was seeing wasn't a dream.
Arm extended with his bow and arrow, mounted valiantly on his midnight black stallion, the Prince released another arrow at the wolf's direction before it pierced the creature in the throat. It went down in an instant, the strangled sounds of creature filling the air. Slowly, Serenity sat up, wondering if the wolf had actually killed her, and she was dreaming that the Prince had come to her rescue.
She had no more time to question whether she was dead or not. The other five wolves began to encircle her, as if seeking retribution for their fallen comrade. "Prince!" Serenity called without thinking, trying to sit up but the pain from her wounds keeping her being able to.
One of the wolves pounced on her once more, but Endymion was quick to attack. The arrow this time, striking the creature in the back the head, pierced through to the other side. The wolf dropped immediately, collapsing only a few strides away from her.
The other four turned their attention towards the Prince, snarls and teeth bared before they leaped to ambush him. Despite the frantic situation they were in, Serenity could not help but watch with amazement as the Prince fired his arrows with a precision and grace she had never seen before. He shot his arrows while at the same time guiding his stallion away from the attacks of the wolves. The Prince truly was a warrior of his time.
It was in that distraction she hadn't noticed the extra pair of eyes glowing behind her. All she could hear was her scream echoing through the trees as another wolf had pounced her once more.
"Serenity!" Endymion yelled, eyes widening in horror. He wasn't able to pull his horse away fast enough from one of the wolf's attacks and it sunk its teeth into the horses leg. The horse whelped in pain, leaping in panic on its back legs, throwing the Prince off for the first time in years. The Prince grunted as he fell to the ground hard.
She tried to push off the creature, but it was too heavy. The sharp, snarling teeth were mere inches from her face, ready to sink into her flesh before the creature howled in pain from a sword stabbing through its side. The wolf leaped off of her before collapsing to the ground.
He turned away from her immediately, sword extended and leaping with the same grace she had seen before. Like the first time she had seen him duelling in the gardens, each move he made was like a movement in some intricate dance. Even though he was fighting with frightening creatures, his every move was beautifully executed. He dodged the attacks easily, taking down the wolves one by one with ease.
Seeing the rest of his comrades slain, the last one ran towards him quickly. Endymion held his sword out, ready to finish him off, but at the very last minute, the wolf dodged the Prince and made its way towards her. Serenity stood there, frozen in fear as she watched the yellow eyes draw closer and closer to her, hungry for revenge and retribution.
"Serenity!" she heard the Prince yell, but could only watch in fear as the wolf leaped towards her with razor-sharp claws. Covering her head with her arms, she closed her eyes, preparing for the impact.
A few moments later when the pain did not come, Serenity slowly opened her eyes and lowered her arms.
Her heart stilled for a moment when those warm, gentle, ocean blue eyes she yearned to see once more were gazing back at her. She thought she would never see them again, but there they were, staring at her so warmly. "Prince," she whispered, wondering why he was so close to her.
The blood drained from her face as her heartbeat raced in her chest, nearly exploding at the sight in front of her. The claws had somehow pierced through his amour and were protruding through his stomach.
Serenity watched, wide-eyed with horror, unable to speak but desperately trying to hold back the cry that wrecked through her body as the Prince collapsed into her arms. "No!" she screamed at the top of her lungs, before her body began to glow brightly.
Blinded by the light, the wolf retracted its claws from the Prince, shielding itself one of it's arms from the brightness. The wolf howled before escaping off into the distance, as well as the other eyes that lurked in the distance. As the light began to fade away, Serenity caught her breath as the warmth within her began to fade. Shaking her head, Serenity wondered if that was the Ginzuishou her mother was talking about.
The weight of the Prince's body slumping brought her back to reality. Unable to hold his weight, she slowly lowered the both of them to the ground. Her eyes immediately flew to the wounds in his stomach, her hands flying to stop the blood. She felt the tears fall one after the other down her face, her body shaking with panic as she held the Prince's face in her hands. "Prince!" she cried desperately.
Endymion weakly glanced at her, confused by her saddened expression. He had never seen her so distraught before. Were those tears for him, he wondered. "Are you... alright?"
His breaths had become more shallow by the second, filling her more with panic. Serenity wanted to hit him for being so reckless. "Why did you do it, Prince?!"
He couldn't stand that look on her face. Slowly, he reached forward with his free hand, hands itching to touch her face. Perhaps it was because he was in an incredible amount of pain, but he was surprised when she allowed him to hold her face, resting her eyes and head for a second in his large hand that seemed to fit his so perfectly. "I shouldn't have let you go in the first place," he whispered.
Despite the pain coursing through his body, and the fact that he was losing more and more blood by the second, Endymion only felt the warmth from her face, pulsating through his body. "I did not mean for this to happen, Prince. We... we need to bring you back to the palace."
She searched for his horse, but was no where to be found. Looking around desperately, Serenity shook her head, trying to shake the feeling of panic out. How was she going to bring the Prince back if she didn't know where she was?
"I know why you lied," Endymion began. "I.. shouldn't have-"
Her attention suddenly returned when his hand dropped limply from face, thudding to the ground. His eyes closed shut as the wave of exhaustion took over his body. Serenity shook her head, clutching at his chest, trying to shake him to stay awake. When his eyes would not open, Serenity screamed as hard as she could for help as she desperately held the Prince's body close to hers.
The last thing he could feel before everything went into darkness was the feeling of a blinding, warm light, surrounding his body.
He could hear soft, faint whispers and scuffling feet. The thickness of the sheets capturing his warmth, despite the cold air he breathed. Mixed colours of yellow, brown, white and green blurred together as his eyes slowly opened for the first time in what felt like an eternity.
It all came back to him at once, in flashes of light, playing like some kind of moving picture. The desperation he felt searching for her in the woods, the panic when he saw the wolves encircling her, and the fear and dread when he ran towards her when the last one escaped him, and the prayer he sent to the Gods hoping he would get there first. Those distraught eyes staring down at him, the tears that flew down her face. From there, everything else was a blur.
All he could truly remember was the warmth he felt. The warmth that made him feel like everything was going to be alright; he wanted to feel it once more. Endymion reached forward, suddenly realizing it was there, holding his large hand in hers, his skin burning from her touch.
Endymion turned his head, wondering why he hadn't noticed the slumbering blonde that had been resting at his side. He could hear her soft breaths, each one sending his worries further and further away. Slowly, he tried to sit up, but the pain from his stomach burned through his body as he groaned, clutching his side immediately.
She stirred suddenly, lifting her head up slowly from her arms, eyes blinking as her vision focused on him. It took a few seconds for her to realize where she was and who exactly was staring just as incredulously back at her. She let out a single gasp of surprise, her fingers tightening around his without thinking. "P-Prince?" she whispered, her voice caressing his worries and fears gently.
Endymion let out a sigh of relief. She wasn't lying in the middle of the forest, dead like he had dreamed. She was alive and breathing, and that was all that mattered to him at that moment.
Serenity mirrored his look of relief, her eyes and lips smiling brightly. "I'll retrieve Nephrite," she told him, preparing herself to stand up. Not wanting the warmth to leave, Endymion shook his head and drew her hand to his chest, pulling her gently closer to him.
"Not yet," he ordered. Her eyes widened as he tugged her onto the bed. Sprawled awkwardly on the floor and on the edge of the bed, Serenity adjusted her body onto the bed next to him before he pulled her close into his embrace. The Princess blushed as he slowly drew his arm around her, pulling her snugly against him with her hand in his, resting on top of his chest. He sighed as her warmth captured him, as if feeding his life with hers.
They laid there in silence, except for the sound of her heartbeat, roaring in her chest, and the sound of his mirroring her frantic beats. After a few moments, he broke the calming silence. "How long has it been?" he asked, feeling like he had been sleeping for years.
"A week," Serenity replied, feeling as if he had been sleeping forever as well.
"You saved me, Prince." Her answer was simple in its words, but complex in all the meanings it conveyed. She slowly rose from his embrace, one arm holding her up, the other still in his hand. "Jaedite and Zoicite arrived shortly after and were able to return us back to the palace and the septons were able to fix your wounds." Her eyes moved to his bandaged waist, stilling for a moment as the memory of the blood seeping through plagued her vision.
Endymion watched her eye his wounds curiously. His eyes traveled to her shoulder, also sporting a bandage around it. Ever so slowly, he too sat up despite her protests, using the head board behind him as support. "Are you alright?" he asked, still not releasing her hand from his, not wanting that warmth to leave him.
Serenity remained silent, eyes unable to look into his as she stared off to the side. Endymion raised an eyebrow, the silence filling him more with dread and uneasiness. After another moment, Serenity turned her head towards him, this time, her eyes filled with anger before she ripped her hand out of his. "You're... the biggest fool I know!" she cried.
Taken aback by her sudden change, Endymion's eyes narrowed at her. He had not been expecting that reaction. "Did you just call me a fool?"
"Why did you come after me?!" Serenity demanded, eyes brimming with tears. "Do you not realize how stupid you are to come after me like that?"
"You truly are an ungrateful wench," Endymion growled, his voice flaring with fire and anger. "I save you from dying, nearly risking my life, and you dare to call me a fool?!"
"Exactly, Prince!" she yelled back, wanting to physically hurt him, but refrained from doing so. "You could have died! You could have died, all because of me, because you were stupid enough to come and save me..!"
The tears streamed down her face, one after the other, like a dam that had finally been released after days of rain. Endymion felt his chest tighten, realizing this had been the first time she had ever spilled tears for him and not because of him. That saddened expression was for him? After all he had said and done to her, she still felt remorse for him?
Slowly, he reached forward to her face, his large hand encompassing the side of her face as he gently wiped the tears away with his thumb. "You wouldn't have been in danger if I had believed your words."
Serenity tilted her head slightly, unsure if the tone she heard was regret. Was that his form of an apology? Serenity shook her head. "I should have told you the truth from the beginning."
"You didn't want Elizabeth to know about Kunzite and Venus. I should have believed you," he said, eyes glancing towards her.
Not noticing until that moment, Endymion's eyes loomed in on the crescent moon shining on her forehead. His hand left the side of her face, gently grazing the birthmark on her forehead. Serenity studied his reaction, but could not tell what he was thinking as he stared at the truth she had kept from him.
"You should have told me you were the Princess," he told her.
Serenity shook her head. "Do you not remember when you first thought I was the Princess? Would you honestly tried to save me, or would you have offered me to your father?"
Endymion lowered his hand from her face. He remembered the anger he felt when he first thought she was the Princess. As much as he did not want to admit it, the Princess was right. He would have probably tried to offer her to her his father. As much as he wanted to yell at her for not being able to trust him, Endymion knew she was right. He expected to be filled with animosity when staring at the symbol of his enemy, but for some reason, he felt nothing at all.
Endymion wondered why he did not believe his suspicions earlier. Everything started to make sense to him—her sudden appearance, the hasty attitude, her fearlessness when it came to him—everything about her screamed royalty, and yet he did not trust his instincts. Although he would not deny the betrayal he felt knowing that his dearest friend had kept such a secret from him, Endymion slowly began to understand why Kunzite did it, and that he once before, would have done anything for love.
"You should have told me sooner," he told her suddenly, meeting her stare. "After the ball. After we sent Kunzite away. You could have told me then."
A strange look fell upon her face as Serenity felt the weight of his gaze on her once more. Her eyes hesitantly met with his. "I was not sure if..." she trailed off, unsure of how to say what she was thinking.
"Unsure if what?" Endymion asked.
Serenity hesitated for a moment, unable to bear the weight of his gaze any longer and turned away. "I was not sure if you would hate me."
Without thinking, his hand flew to her face, lifting her head up so her eyes would meet his. His thumb gently trailed the bottom of her lip, wondering why it was quivering. Since when had the Princess started caring about what he thought of her? He had not given her any reason in the beginning to trust her, and yet here they were, in a place he thought they would never be.
"I always knew you couldn't have been a maid. You were too reckless and too stupid with your words," Endymion teased, wondering if perhaps he was the idiot for not realizing it sooner.
A low chuckle escaped his lips, wincing slightly when the pain from his ribs burned through him. Clutching his side, Endymion leaned back against the wall, clenching his eyes shut as the pain began to fade.
Serenity frowned, leaning closer to place her hand on his shoulders. "Prince, you must rest. If there is any long lasting damage to you... I... I will take full responsibility," she declared, her eyes meeting his determinedly.
His heart quickened from her proximity, her big blue eyes staring into his so determinedly. Glancing down at her chest for a moment, Endymion's mouth began to water. Gods, she was so beautiful.
His lips curled into his signature childish smile; something she thought she would never see again. "And how do you intend on taking responsibility?" he challenged, as a wicked gleam entered his eye.
Before Serenity could react, Endymion grabbed a hold of her hips and lifted her up with the strength he had left, throwing her over his lap so she was straddling him. Serenity braced herself by holding on tightly to his shoulders, gasping whens he felt him pressed against her core suddenly.
She tried to move free from his grasp, but the Prince held on tight. His arousal stirred as she thrust against him in an attempt to free herself. Serenity looked into his eyes, shaking her head in disbelief when she recognized that look of hunger in his eyes. Had he gone mad?! Was he thinking about that at a time like this?
Her answer came when she felt him move her hips gently. Serenity gasped, holding tightly onto his shoulders as the desire began to ever so slowly uncoil within her belly, her face flushed. "Prince...! We cannot-"
"Do you not remember our agreement, Princess?" he growled, his impatience growing thin as he rocked her against his arousal, amazed at how amazing she felt against him.
Serenity bit down on her lip, trying her best to concentrate, but unable to with the pleasure cascading between her legs. She couldn't let him do this. She refused to be responsible for another injury. Her hand left his shoulder and pressed down on her ribs, evoking a grunt of pain from the Prince, as he clutched his ribs. "That wasn't fair," Endymion grumbled, eyes glaring at the blonde menace.
"Every wound that you have is my fault," Serenity began. "I will not let you get hurt again because of me."
Endymion frowned as the pain from his ribs subsided. His eyes glanced up at her determined face and felt his heart tighten. Despite the pain he felt, he could not deny the swelling in his heart from her words.
Reaching forward with his hands, he cupped her face once more with his hands, gazing into her bewildered eyes. "I will never make the same mistake again. I will not let anything harm you again," he vowed.
Serenity's eyes widened as she felt the blush splash across her face. Her heart tightened as well, her stomach doing jumps and flips. "I do not need your protection, Prince."
The Prince chuckled, despite the pain in his ribs. "I do not remember giving you a choice, Serenity."
Her heart stilled at the sound of her name. She heard him call her name once in the forest, but had no time to truly think about it. As much as she tried to deny the warmth flowing from her heart, she liked the sound of her name on his lips.
He slowly began to draw her face closer to his, his lips growing nearer and nearer to hers. Serenity panicked, her hand pressing on his lips to stop him. "Wait," she pleaded, much to his dismay. "You cannot kiss me again."
"Oh?" he challenged, pulling her hand off his lips. "And why not?"
"I'm the Moon Princess, Prince. Our kingdoms are at war. If we continue what we were doing before... if you kiss me, and I let you... we are both committing treason."
Endymion paused for a moment as the weight of her words began to sink in. He had not thought about what was growing between them as treason, but she was right. This time, there were no secrets between them. If he kissed her... if he held her, if he touched her... it would be with the enemy. She was no longer a maid or a servant to his kingdom. She was the Princess of their warring nation.
He closed his eyes, remembering the fear he felt seeing the wolf rushing towards her. The dread in his heart that he felt when he thought she would die. In that moment, it didn't matter to him who she was; maid, or Princess. In that moment, she was someone that somewhere along the line, had begun to care for, and could not bare to see her hurt.
He didn't care if she was the Moon Princess, or if she was from Pluto. She could have been born a servant, and he would have still risked his life to save her. His eyes opened wide at this sudden revelation, as the two blue doe-eyes stared back at him, waiting his response. Whatever he did from that point on, Endymion knew, would change the course of things forever.
"To hell with treason," he mumbled, before grabbing her by the back of her neck and pressing her lips against his. As soon as her soft lips touched his, all his worries began to fade away, and Endymion knew then he had made the right decision.
Serenity sighed into his kiss, feeling her heart flutter as he drew her closer. Drawing support once more from his shoulders, Serenity gently braced herself against him. His free hand trailed down the side of her body, light feathery touches making her heart beat frantically, until it rested on her hip. She felt him harden between her legs, and without thinking, her mind hazy and clouded by his warmth, began to move her hips against his arousal once more.
Endymion groaned in approval, his fingers digging into the flesh of her hip. Mistaking it for pain, Serenity pulled away from his lips. "Are you alright?" she asked.
Nodding feverishly, Endymion pulled her back to his lips, not wanting to part from her sweet taste.
Endymion closed his eyes tightly as he held the Princess close to him, never wanting to let her go. He may have been committing treason, and that his actions would have severe consequences in the future, but at that point, he could not care. There was something he had been missing that was somewhere deep within the Princess that he could not let go. He didn't care if it was merely physical, or the Gods forbid, something more that was brewing between them, but Endymion would not give her up to anyone. Not even his father.
She heard her name twice. Not her Earthen name that had been given to her, but her real name. Serenity. Princess Serenity. There was no doubt in her mind they had been discussing what to do with her now that her identity had been revealed, but Serenity wasn't sure if she wanted to find out what their decision would be.
It had been almost two weeks since the Prince rescued her from the wolves. The Prince summoned her that day to the general's room, without any discussion as to why. Although she trusted the Prince, it was the others she wasn't sure about. If Kunzite trusted Nephrite enough to share her secret, she knew he could be trusted, but the other two, she had no inkling as to how they felt about Lunarians. Would they send her home? Would they offer her to the King? Would the Prince take their side and toss her aside? Serenity frowned, still wondering why the thought of that made her heart break.
That was when she heard a loud yell from behind the door. Pressing her ear to it, Serenity frowned when she recognized the Prince's voice, but there was someone else she couldn't quite figure out who it was. Were they arguing about her, perhaps?
"Princess," a soft whisper came from behind, causing Serenity to jump. Spinning around, Serenity's gaze met with Nephrite's.
"Sir Nephrite," she breathed, as her heart began to calm down.
"Do not be afraid," the chestnut-haired general offered with a smile, as he held his hand out to hers. "We may have different views on Lunarians, but in the end, we serve our Prince. If he deems you worthy, then so will we."
His calm voice soothed her nerves, before she hesitantly placed her hand in his. With a kind smile, Nephrite reached around her and slowly opened the door, gently tugging her in.
"You kept her hidden from us this entire time?!" the sandy-haired general shouted in disbelief at the Prince, hands slamming against the table.
"For the last time, Jaedite, I did not know of her identity until a few days ago," Endymion reiterated, shaking his head.
"You almost died saving that wretched Moonling, and you expect us to turn our heads and keep this from the King?!" Jaedite countered, the anger in his voice rising with each word.
Endymion was about to counter with his own remark, but stopped when he heard the two enter the room. Serenity tried to conceal the horror and embarrassment on her face as she entered, eyes avoiding the gaze of the three men that stared at her from the table.
"Jaedite," Nephrite sighed, in almost a scolding tone. "Do not speak to your Prince with such a disrespectful tone."
Endymion sighed, shaking his head. "There is no use trying to argue with him when his brain is that of a simpleton."
Jaedite would surely have said something that would have forever jeopardized their relationship, if Zoicite had not intervened at that moment. "Is this the infamous Princess we've been talking about?" Zoicite chimed, offering a hesitant smile in her direction.
Serenity bowed her head apologetically, her eyes focused on the ground. "My profound apologies for any inconveniences I have caused. My intention was not to deceive any of you," she apologized, slowly lifting her head from the floor.
"The Princess will remain here for the time being, until we can find a way to send her home," Endymion explained, his eyes looming in on the Princess. "Until then, we must continue her facade as a maid, but keeping a closer eye on her."
"Endymion," Jaedite called once more. "If we bring her to the king, we can finally end this wretched war."
"No," Endymion countered, eyes narrowing once more at the blonde. "My father cannot absolutely know of this. I do not know what that man is capable of doing."
"Your grace," Zoicite began. "Jaedite does bring up a point. If we turn her to the King, this war can finally end."
"Princess Serenity made a choice to protect one of our own. She could have easily told my father about Kunzite, or acted a spy for her mother." Endymion's eyes met with hers from across the room. Serenity's heart fluttered from his warm stare, turning away when she felt her face flush. "Because of that, we must do the same and protect her."
Zoicite studied Endymion's stare and the Princess' reaction curiously. Could it be he was right all along? Was there another reason to the Prince's actions? He did almost risk his life for her, and it couldn't have been entirely because of Kunzite.
"I know I am asking a lot from you all, but you are the only ones I can trust. I realize what I am asking you to do is treasonous, but we absolutely cannot give her to my father."
Zoicite sighed, leaning back into his chair. "So it's true," he breathed, eyeing the Prince suspiciously. "Endymion," Zoicite called, looking once more at the Princess. "Are you and the Princess... do... do you love her?"
Serenity's eyes widened in horror, suddenly being put on the spot. She glanced at the Prince briefly, not knowing what reaction she wished for when her eyes fell on his. He looked at her with an unreadable expression, before glancing over to his generals.
Endymion remained silent for a moment, contemplating the question within himself as well. There was no way he could be in love with her. He may not be able to control his desire for her, but to fall in love with her...? The Prince shook his head. He was not that foolish. "Don't be ridiculous, Zoicite."
Serenity was taken aback, for some reason. She wasn't sure if she was relieved to hear him say it, but knew the opposite would have been worse. Right? Still, she couldn't deny her stomach churning from his words.
"I will risk my life for you in a heartbeat, Endymion," Jaedite began, before standing up from his seat. "But I will not risk my life over a Moonling with a tight cunt."
It all happened in a flash, that Serenity swore time had moved forward quicker than usual. In just a matter of seconds, Endymion leaped over the table, grabbing Jaedite by his uniform, yanking him closer to his body. Zoicite was quick to separate the two, while Nephrite stood there, a disappointed look on his face as he shook his head.
"Watch your damn mouth, Jaedite," Endymion threatened, pulling his sword from the sheath and pointing it in his direction. "You may be like a brother to me, but I will not forgive such insolent words."
"Enough," Nephrite yelled, shaking his head once more. "Princess Serenity was merely trying to protect one of us. And because of that, we will in turn protect you. All of us," Nephrite remarked, eyes focusing on a fuming Jaedite. "We follow our Prince's orders with no questions asked."
Jaedite glared at Nephrite, before his eyes narrowed once more at the Prince. "You keep saying this Moonling protected Kunzite. Where is he now, then? Why is he not here with us?"
"You never were the brightest of the bunch, Jaedite," a low voice chuckled from the doorway.
Serenity's eyes grew wide with horror at the sound of the familiar voice. She had heard this voice many times in her dreams, that she wondered if perhaps she had been dreaming at that moment. Her eyes looked up to see the bewildered stares of the three generals, but none compared to the ghastly white paled expression of the Prince.
Ever so slowly, Serenity turned around, eyes rising to the figure at the doorway. Her eyes started at his black shoes, up his grey slacks, to his slightly opened collared uniform. His white cape fluttered behind him, as he folded his arms across his chest. Her eyes followed the black line on his jacket to the silver-white hair that rested on his shoulders.
Her eyes rested on that chiseled jaw she admired once before, and that kind gentle smile she thought she would never see. By the time she reached his silver-blue eyes, Serenity could already feel the tears welling in her eyes. Hands flowing to her mouth, Serenity shook her head in disbelief. It couldn't be. How... how did he...?
"Kunzite?" she whispered.
The silver-haired general's lips slowly curled into a smile. "I'm home."