A SECOND CHANCE CH.1
For years the Order of the dragon fought against the Ottoman Turks who were trying to spread Islam into the Christian areas. Wallachia was their closest Christian neighbor and their main target. The citizens of Wallachia suffered for many reasons. The main reason was their ruler Vlad Tepes Dracula. There were several executions per week. Mostly for odd or unnecessary reasons. But the worst was yet to come...
A young woman watched the corpses of innocents on the stakes in the field near the castle. All were dead. Though they had suffered a great deal of pain before they received their redemption.. Death. The woman held her shawl close to her thin body as the winter wind chilled her. Her semi wavy black hair blew in the wind along with her black skirt and red sash. "Anette!" a voice called out. She turned and aimed her aqua eyes at the kind woman that had led her to Wallachia. Sylvia smiled at her and said "Anette come to the fire and warm up!" Anette smiled and followed Sylvia back to the gypsy camp.
The gypsy camp was hidden deep within the woods so they couldn't be found by soldiers or worse... Prince Vlad. The gypsy band was gathered around the fire telling stories and laughing. They lived the simpler happier way of life that everyone overlooked. Anette was the only Romanian gypsy in the band and she was also one of the newest members of the band. She had joined them when they came to Romania a few months ago. She had nothing else to live for in her life and she had amazing talent so they invited her to join them. The thought of singing and dancing for people was a dream to her. She immediately agreed. And she was their main singer and dancer now.
"Anette!" one of her comrades called. "Dance!" he said. Anette smiled and got up off of the ground. Another of her comrades began to play the violin. It was a fast song with a beautiful and feisty violin melody. Anette danced to it around the fire. Her comrades clapped to the beat as she danced. She smiled as she danced. She was truly the happiest when she danced to the violin's song. The violin became faster and Anette danced faster along with it. Her comrades clapped faster to the beat. Then finally the song ended and Anette stopped dancing and curtsied. Her comrades clapped and cheered for her and the violinist. She smiled and kept curtsying. Then there was another set of clapping. It wasn't the gypsies... It was someone else...
They turned to see a sight they hoped they would never see...
It was Prince Vlad Tepes. Anette stared in fear at him. She had never seen him before but she knew it was him. He was mounted on a black horse wearing black military styled clothing, black riding boots, and his black hair was pulled back away from his face save a few stray strands that framed his pale pronounced face. His piercing blue eyes were staring right at Anette. Anette could feel her heart beat faster. She had to admit that he was tall, dark, and undeniably handsome. He dismounted and walked closer towards them. "What charming music you play...rousing, wild and... joyful. I hope however in this country...there is a price to pay for happiness." he said his eyes fixed on the frightened gypsies in front of him. "As you all are probably aware there is a law against gypsies in Wallachia.." he continued. "Punishable only by impalement." the prince finished. Anette stiffened in fear. She didn't want to be impaled! She was only 20! She was too young to die! "However... I will spare your lives if I am given something in return.." Prince Vlad said still walking closer. Anette held her breath. "Name your terms my lord." a gypsy said. "Your band will leave my kingdom." he said. Anette let out her breath in a slow silent sigh of relief. "Also.. I must be given something else as well.." he continued slowly advancing. "Name your price your highness." Sylvia said. "A little trinket...something that dances and is filled with the fire of life...something that I can adore and watch dance at my leisure..." he said still advancing but now it was clear.. He was walking towards Anette. Anette stiffened and stared at him in fear. It took everything she had to will herself not to shake in front of him. He was now standing in front of her. She didn't look at him. She kept her eyes down and she clenched her hands into tight fists to contol herself from shaking. The prince picked up her chin and stared into her beautiful aqua eyes as she stared back fearfully into his icy blue eyes. "You my dear...seem to fit into my criteria of what I want..." he said. She tried her hardest not to shake in fear or worse scream. The gypsies were shocked. Prince Vlad wanted to take a gypsy girl?! It took them completely off guard. "Do we have a deal?" Prince Vlad asked turning his gaze to the other gypsies near him. The gypsies glanced at Anette and saw the fear in her eyes. But her eyes also told them to accept. Anette knew she had to sacrifice herself for her people. The gypsies looked to the prince and sadly nodded. "Excellent." he said as he moved his hand from her chin to her wrist. He held her wrist tightly in his hand. Anette was certain that her wrist would break. "You have two days to leave my kingdom and if you are still here after those two days you all will be impaled." he said to the gypsies. The gypsies nodded in understanding. He led Anette to his horse and picked her up and set her side saddle onto it. He mounted behind her and held her to him tightly. Anette took one last look at her comrades before the horse went into a gallop and she was being taken away by the man she was taught her entire life to fear..
They arrived at Castle Dracula and Anette was terrified. She had no idea what he was going to do to her but she had a pretty good idea of what he would do. He pulled the reins and the horse stopped. Prince Vlad dismounted and helped Anette down. But instead of setting her down on her feet he carried her inside bridal style. She was terrified now. But instead he carried her up to two young women. The young women looked Anette and instantly figured out what happened. "Help her bathe. And when she is finished bring her to my chamber." he told them as he set her on her feet. The two women curtsied and took Anette by the hand and took her to be bathed.
Once Anette and the two servant girls were in the bathroom the servant girls began to talk. "You poor thing.. Are you afraid?" the blonde haired one asked. Anette nodded. "I cannot believe the prince would do this.." the brunette said sighing. While the two girls bathed her they kept assuring her that Prince Vlad wouldn't hurt her..
But they could've been wrong..
When Anette was finished bathing she was dressed in a black and red dress with a low neckline. The two girls took Anette into the prince's bed chamber. Anette was terrified and the two girls knew it. Truth betold they were scared for her too. "What is your name miss?" the brunette asked her brown eyes showing worry and compassion for the terrified young woman before her. "Anette." the young woman said softly. "That is a very pretty name.." the blonde said smiling but her eyes showed worry as well. "My name is Andrea and this is Elizabeth." the brunette said pointing to the blonde standing next to her. They curtsied to her. "If you ever need anything just ask us." Elizabeth said. "Thank you.." Anette said. Andrea and Elizabeth turned to leave. "Thank you for all that you have done.." Anette said curtsying to them. Andrea and Elizabeth were shocked. No one had ever shown them true respect before! They hugged Anette. "God protect you miss.." they said softly before they left her alone to wait for Prince Vlad.
Anette stood in front of the fireplace. The fire helped dry her hair and soon her long black hair was slightly wavy again. She stood there watching the fire dance and the embers crackle. Anette was so focused on the fire and her thoughts that she didn't even hear the door open..
She continued to watch the fire as Prince Vlad quietly walked up behind her. She was called back to reality when his arm snaked around her waist and pulled her to his chest. "My my... What a beautiful young woman... I will be very proud to have her on my arm..." the prince said as the gypsy tried to control her fear. She was extremely beautiful he had to admit. When he walked into his chamber and saw her standing in front of the fire he could see her figure perfectly. She was thin and had perfect hips. She had a naturally thin waist and beautiful curves. The dress she wore hugged those curves perfectly only adding to her beauty. He held her to his chest tightly as he stroked her cheek. "What is your name my dear?" he asked her. "Anette.." she said softly her eyes staring straight into the fire. "Such a beautiful name..." the prince said desperately wanting to see her face and front. He turned her in his arms and saw her pale face, soft lips, and beautiful aqua eyes. And then discreetly as she lowered her eyes to stare at the floor he stared at her cleavage. The dress' low neckline caused her cleavage to partly show and it was beautiful. He desired this young woman. She would become his wife! He moved his eyes to her face once more and admired her beauty. He longed to feel her soft lips against his, her fingers to delicately brush against his cheek, and to feel every curve she possessed.
Prince Vlad could tell that it was getting late and that Anette must be tired. He let go of her and walked over to the wardrobe. She watched him with curiosity. He opened up the wardrobe and took something out of it. She couldn't tell what it was but it was white. He closed the wardrobe door and walked back to her. Then Anette could see what Prince Vlad was holding. It was a nightgown. He gently took her hand and led her to a dressing screen. He handed the nightgown to her and walked away. Anette went behind the screen and changed out of the black and red dress into the white nightgown. The nightgown went down to her feet and had sleeves. Thankfully it showed nothing of her cleavage. She draped the dress over the changing screen and stepped out from behind it. He had taken off his boots and jacket. He was only wearing his shirt and pants now. And to her surprise he had unbuttoned his shirt so she could see his chest. Anette lowered her gaze out of respect. He motioned for her to come to him. "Come my dear." he said and she obeyed. She walked to him and he picked up her chin. "You may look me in the eyes my dear.." he said soothingly as he stared into her eyes. Unlike before his eyes were soft and caring. Anette felt calmer as she stared into his eyes. "Do not fear me my dear.." he said softly as he moved his hand from her chin to her hair. He gently ran his fingers through her wavy raven hair. "Why am I here?" she asked softly. "To be my wife. That is why I brought you here." he said softly as he smoothed her soft hair gently. Anette's heart beat faster at the reason of why she was there. She had to admit that the prince was extremely handsome but she was taught to fear him! She couldn't love him!
"You must rest my dear.." Prince Vlad said softly to Anette. She nodded in response. He picked her up bridal style and carried her to the bed. He set her gently on her feet and she pulled back the black sheets and got in. He walked to the other side and pulled back the sheets as well. He got in beside her and pulled the covers over them. He held her to him protectively. He kissed her cheek gently. "Goodnight my dear.." he whispered to her. She didn't answer him. She was too afraid. He fell asleep soon after and Anette finally fell asleep.
TO BE CONTINUED..