Don't own Ella Enchanted. This fic is modeled after Tayk's 'reflections'.

Hidden Meanings

He sighed and dropped his head into his hands. His deep eyes stared hopelessly at the letter on his desk, a letter which showed obvious signs of being crumpled up and thrown across the room… repeatedly. Slowly, he smoothed it out (again) and began to read (again). No new information presented itself and no new hints as to the writer's meaning caught his eye. She had mastered the art of putting herself – her words, her light, her heart – onto the pages while giving him no real information of any kind. Usually, he didn't care. Now…

Prince Charmont of Kyrria sighed again and stared into the fire. The author of his love-worn letter was a maiden called Ella, a girl that had long since captured his heart. He loved her desperately and longed to know her feelings for him. But that was impossible. He was stuck here for another six months and she was in Frell. It was not her style to pen such things and he had often said that he would never want her to change. Char didn't know what he wanted anymore.

No, that was wrong. He knew exactly what he wanted. He wanted Ella. He wanted to run all the way back to Frell. And when he got there, the first thing he would do was kiss Ella. The next would sacrifice his dignity but what did dignity matter? He would beg her to explain herself, to save him the constant headaches that came from wondering about her. He would call a hundred – no, a thousand bards, though it would take them decades to begin to describe his feelings for her. He would fall to his knees and plead with her to marry him, to be his wife. He knew what she would say. She was too young, or too old, or too short, or too hungry to marry – or something equally playful and frustrating. Char pushed Ella's letter aside and pulled a fresh sheet of paper toward him.

Ella, he wrote, I love you. Will you marry me?

Char examined his note. It was short, direct, to the point; if he were any other man he'd have stood and posted the letter in that instant. But he was not another man and this would not do at all. Char crumpled the letter, threw it into the fire grate, and began anew. He spilled his heart onto the paper, wishing desperately all the while for a chance to tell Ella all of this in person. He filled page after page with his love for her. When at last he was finished, he having run out of things to say, he blew on the ink to dry it.

This letter was posted before he could change his mind. Upon returning to his room, Char picked up Ella's letter again and renewed his search for its hidden meanings.