DISCLAIMER: I will say this only once... I don't own Escaflowne. If I did the ending would be much different.

A girl spends her whole life searching for a prince on a white horse and Hitomi went one step further found a king on a white dragon. And then she left. Am I the only one who considers her as... um... not so smart?

Anyway, this is my new story. Enjoy and let me know what you think of it.

The large room, decorated to fit the princess of Nazakkija, was facing the beautiful gardens the young princess enjoyed to visit. But now she wasn't strolling among the numerous rose bushes and colorful flowers that were blooming through the whole year. No, she was in her room, alone.

Several weeks ago, little after her eighteenth Birthday, her father summoned her in his study. Hitomi knew she would not like what he planed to say, she could sense it in her being his words would disturb the tranquility of her carefree life.

And she was so right.

King Muliz Kanzaki was a strict man, his eyes were cold and all he cared for was the prosperity of his kingdom. It wouldn't be such a bad thing if he weren't ready to go over corpses to get exactly what he wanted. And he was ready to sell his own family.

"Hitomi, I believe I said you are to come in my study immediately." The green-eyed girl stood silently as her father was lecturing her about respect once more "I do not have the time to wait for my own daughter to finally remember she has something more important to do then waste her, and my, time in that garden."

"I apologize father. But that rare butterfly-"

"A Butterfly?!" the king bellowed "You kept me waiting because of a butterfly?!"

"They are very rare." Hitomi said afraid he would snap on her again.

"I don't give a damn Hitomi! My free time is also rare and I can't afford spending it waiting for you!" he huffed.

"I apologize father. What did you wished to speak with me about?" the young princess asked.

Her father stood up, placed his hands behind his back and moved to the window. He had a view of the main courtyard, which was also beautiful as the garden with its decorations in the stone ground, the masterworks of the old builders that planed and overviewed the building of the ivory palace. But the king of Nazakkija saw none of it.

"It doesn't matter. You won't be my business for much longer." He muttered.

Hitomi wasn't sure she heard her father correctly "Pardon?"

"You have finally reached the perfect age to marry, and I have-"

"Marry?" Hitomi was so shocked by her father's words she interrupted him, and that was something he did not appreciate.

"Hitomi! Be quiet while I speak!" he bellowed "As I was saying before you interrupted be, I have found a perfect match for you. The kingdom isn't much special but their mines seem to be filled with various minerals and precious stones. And they have several dragon graveyards, I believe even more then Asturia. Not to mention trillian, that practically priceless material they use to make weapons and shields that are incredibly light but their endurance is amazing. What do you think?"

"What about the king?" Hitomi asked.

Her father blinked in confusion "What about him?"

"What can you tell me about the king? My apparently future husband." She was curious.

"Why should I know something about him?!" the king snapped at his daughter.

It was in that moment that Hitomi realized what he had done. Her own father sold her, but not to the king but to the kingdom. He didn't even bothered to find out the slightest detail about his future son-in-law, but he knew every damn thing about the kingdom he would have a tight bond with after the wedding.

Hitomi got angry. She didn't wanted to be treated like an object; she wanted some respect. But it seemed her life wouldn't get any better in the near future. Her father was selling his daughter, and another king was buying.

"I understand." Hitomi muttered "Is there something else you wished to speak with me father?"

"Yes, he will be arriving in exactly one moon. And it would be better for you if you are there on time to greet him." It was a threat and the young princess knew it.

"Of course father." Was all she dared to say.

But the truth was Hitomi was ready to do anything but to be in front of the palace in time to meet her betrothed. He was to arrive in three days and she wasn't wasting another moment. Green eyes looked towards the large mirror and the princess observed her new look. The long silky gown was replaced by rough brown cotton skirt that covered her feet; where once was a tight bodice was now a soft white shirt that tied in front and a sleeveless top that matched the skirt. It was a clothes of one of the maids that worked in the kitchen. The pour girl had no idea her princess was using her clothing items to disappear; she believed it was stolen by another maid. Well, she was partially right.

The small bag carried over both shoulders was filled. Small things like food necessary to survive till Hitomi reached the next city, a second shirt was neatly folded and a bag with money all found their place in the bag.

Hitomi was pleased with the preparations and all she needed to do is wait for another hour or so till it was dark enough outside and the guards on the shifts are changing.

Green eyes look around the room to make sure everything that was necessary was packed and Hitomi noticed a letter opener on her vanity. It wasn't sharp enough to offer good protection but with enough force it could cause enough damage. Making a decision Hitomi took it as well and hid it in the pocket in the folds of the skirt. She feared it would pierce the light material but it wasn't even sharp enough to do that.

No one noticed the shadow that climbed down from the balcony on the second floor that night. Hitomi used the wooden form that was placed on the wall for the beautiful red roses to grow on. They were rare on Gaea for they had no thorns; another good thing Hitomi came across.

The guards were on the end of their shifts and the others were just arriving so she had a perfect pass through the garden, over the wall and into the surrounding forest. She did not feared of the animals that lived in the dark forest. Although many said they have seen dragons roaming through the young princess knew better. She could sense creatures in her surrounding and knew none of them were representing a threat. She knew nothing was on her way to freedom.

Pallas was a beautiful city Hitomi had always admired. The white houses, the canals with clear water, numerous bridges and the large palace made out of the purest white stones. It could not really measure with the palace of Nazakkija but it was still a lovely building.

Thousands of Asturians were walking through the streets of the capitol, none of them paying any attention to the lone girl. Those who did noticed her only saw a child looking for a job probably to help feed her family. No one suspected a thing; but Hitomi had a feeling that might change soon. The rumors travel really fast so it was just a matter of time till everyone began to look for her.

The small inn she found a free room in was the first clean one she found. The owner was an old pair that didn't allowed drunks or women with suspicious past to stay longer then just drink something or eat if they wished. Hitomi they welcomed with smiles.

"Such a delicate creature shouldn't travel alone." The man said smiling.

Hitomi already had everything planed "I do not have a choice."

"Oh, I understand." he said "How long will you be staying child?"

"I don't know. Several days the most." The green-eyed girl answered "I'm Yukari." She lied giving the man the name of her friend and lady-in-waiting.

"Welcome Yukari." He said and handed her a key.

For two days Hitomi walked around the city unnoticed until on the third morning she completely accidentally recognized the men that were walking towards the palace as the solders from Nazakkija. Luckily none of them saw her but Hitomi realized the danger.

She rushed back to the inn and walked in the kitchen where the owners were at the moment.

"Yukari dear, are you alright?" the old woman asked.

"Yes, I'm fine. I found a job and have to leave." She answered "How much do I owe you for the bed and food."

The woman glanced at her husband before turning to the young girl "You own us nothing."

Hitomi wanted to protest but the old man walked to her "My wife and I enjoyed having you here with us. We wish you could stay longer but if you must leave then you must leave. But please, stay safe."

"I will." Hitomi answered smiling. She felt guilty for lying to them but it was necessary. After greeting them Hitomi went to her room and locked the door. Drastic times asked for drastic measurements.

The scissors Hitomi found in the dresser weren't so sharp but she had no problem using them to cut of her long hair. Before it was flowing almost till her waist but now it reached to her shoulders. It was a shocking change for her. But it was just a beginning.

On her way to Asturia Hitomi collected several dozen small flowers known as Symallin. They were used for centuries to coloring silk due to the black color of the flowers and no scent. But Hitomi found a different use for them.

The young princess moved in the washroom and slinked them in warm water. Few minutes later they released their natural black color. Hitomi took a deep breath and began the long process of washing her hair.

The result wasn't the usual one. Instead of having clean hair she had black hair. Green eyes grew wide as she saw her reflection in the mirror. She looked nothing like herself.

The calls from the street got her attention and she moved to the window. From there she could see the solders of Nazakkija together with the Asturian knights walking through the streets and questioning the people.

It was the time to run.

A solder looked after a shorthaired girl that walked out of the inn they were walking towards and moved. She was leaving towards the market district quite fast like she was running away. He pointed her to his commander but he just shook his head. Her look didn't fit the princess.

Hitomi sighed relived. For now she managed to escape being found and returned home.

"Hey there little one!" a rough voice caught Hitomi's attention and she turned towards the source of it. Her face showed clearly she was disgusted with the drunk man that was approaching her "I'm looking for someone just like you."

"I'm sorry but I can't help you." Hitomi answered and wanted to walk away when he grabbed her hand.

"Oh, but you can help me. I only want something little." The grin on his face made the young princess freeze. It was quite clear now what 'little' he wanted from her.

"I have to go." Hitomi tried to break free but it was in vain.

"Later girl. Now we enjoy some time together."

"Let her go!" serious voice said.

"Stay out of it boy." The man said back and gripped Hitomi's wrist tighter.

"Do you wish for me to repeat myself before breaking your arm or after?" the young man moved closer. Hitomi didn't appreciated being rescued by a stranger but he looked better then the one who was currently holding her wrist so why the hell not?

"Leave boy." The drunk hissed.

"You asked for it." The sound of metal was barely heard and a heartbeat later the drunk old man was having a tip of a sword on his throat.

"You… you could have said she was yours." He mumbled, let go of Hitomi's bruised wrist and disappeared in the crowd.

"Are you alright?" the stranger asked seeing the girl in front of him was holding her wrist "Do you allow me to help you with it?"

Hitomi didn't managed to say a word, she just nodded and allowed the young man to led her away from the market towards another inn he was staying in. he was silent the whole time, didn't said who he was or asked for her name. It suited Hitomi just fine.

When he finally spoke it was to ask her "Do you have a place to stay?"

"No." Hitomi answered meekly.

Her savior smiled weekly "You can stay here tonight." When green eyes looked at him in shock he chuckled "I didn't mean it like that. Tonight starts a large festival and it will be many of drunken men walking around. I'm offering you safety, that's all."

"Oh, thank you. I appreciate your help."

"No problem." He said back.

"I'm Yukari." She lied.

He smiled to her "Nice to meet you Yukari. I'm Damian."

That evening Hitomi sat next to her new friend and eating some stew when a plan formed in her mind. Damian was drinking beer and she had a glass of sweet vino so it shouldn't be hard. She knew it wasn't smart to mix drinks, she had seen the result of it on her father many times, but right now it was necessary. Just not for her.

"Did you tried the vino?" she asked innocently.

"Nah, I prefer beer with stew." He answered.

"Well you should try it. It's delicious." Hitomi wasn't planning to give up anytime soon.

"Next time I'll take vino then." And Damian wasn't giving in.

Hitomi frowned "And if they don't have the same vino next time?"

Her new friend shrugged "My loss apparently."

"Here. Try it." She offered him her glass.

"I don't think this is smart." He said and Hitomi feared he saw right through her plan "I don't want you to be left without a drink.

"It's no problem. Really." The green-eyed girl smiled as Damian took her glass and gulped the red liquid down.

"You are right, it is delicious." He said and offered a bottle from the owner.

Hitomi once more felt guilty. This young man was being a gentleman; he saved her from a drunk, offered her a place to stay, bought her dinner and she was about to use him. She knew what she planed wasn't right and wasn't something a princess would do. But she was desperate to get out of the marriage.

Two hours later Damian was drunk. The beer and sweet vino really didn't get along.

"Come on." Hitomi stood up and took his hand. He was hesitating for a moment but followed.

"Do you need help miss?" the inn owner asked.

"It's alright. I'm used to it." She answered and the man nodded. He concluded they were married and the young man had some alcohol problems. He pitied the girl that she ended with a guy like that.

Once they were in the room Damien rented Hitomi helped him lie on the bed before she moved to the door and locked it. Resting her forehead on the cold surface she took a deep breath. It didn't suppose to be like this but there way no other way. At least she saw none.

"Yukari…" Damian rasped as she sat on the bed and touched his face gently.

"Forgive me. I don't know what else to do." She whispered and kissed him passionately.

For a second Damien was in shock before he kissed her back, wrapped his arms around the slim waist of the girl he met that afternoon and pulled her closer.

His mind wasn't working properly due to the alcohol but still he knew what he was, what they were doing, was wrong. But he found no strength to resist. She was fat to beautiful for him to say 'no'.

So he continued to kiss her believing she would pull back when things go too far but as his hand moved down her leg she just moaned. As it moved up again pulling the cotton skirt along it only made her kiss him deeper.

Damian groaned and rolled them over so that he was on top. He pulled back only for a moment before going back on kissing the lovely creature. His hot kisses moved away from her soft lips to her neck and she gasped.

"If you want me to stop…" he whispered hoarsely.

"Don't stop." She whispered back. And he did as told.

The young man groaned as the sunlight that illuminated the room blinded him. He had a tremendous headache and his stomach growled. He sat up and realized he had no clothes on. It was confusing at first till he remembered the girl.

"Yukari?" he called her name believing she was in the washroom but no answer came.

Damian got out of bed, put on his pants and walked to the smaller room. It was empty. His next thought was she was downstairs having breakfast but the piece of paper on the pillow where she slept last night prevented him from going down to check.

Her handwriting was lovely but the words were everything but nice.

"Thank you for the unforgettable night Damian. I am sorry it only lasted for one night; you are so wonderful so I can't do different but wish the feeling you brought me this night would last for a lifetime. Unfortunately I do not believe we would meet again. I apologize for using you for a selfish goal of gaining freedom from the strings that suffocate me and pray some day you would forgive me."

Hitomi sat alone on the rook of a windmill outside of the city. She was sad knowing Damian was probably awake by now and reading her note. But what saddened her more was a thought she would never see him again.

It may sound stupid but she fell for him even though she knew nothing about him. Damian was everything she dreamed about but at the same time forbidden.

Hitomi sighed. She believed her life was already hard and complicated. Little did she knew things are soon become much worse.