Danielle Collens is the long time neighbor of the famous Connect 3. One regular morning, her Mom tells her she's engaged to either Jason, Shane, or Nate, and that she has two months to decide. Things get more complicated when Jason, Shane, and Aiden urge Danielle to pick Nate. How is this complicated? The two ALWAYS seem to end up in some kinda awkward accident, like an anime. Can she take control of this porblem before it gets out of hand?
I woke up to the sound of an alarm clock. I sat up and heard the clock shut off from Caitlyn's and Tess's room. I got up and walked in.
"Morning, Dani," Tess greeted with a yawn.
I nodded. "Was that your alarm clock?"
"Yeah, nothing special," Caitlyn said, stretching her arms.
"So what time is it?" I asked, rubbing my eyes.
Tess bent down and picked up their alarm clock. "9:00. Why?"
My sleepy eyes cracked open. "OH SHOOT!"
"What happened?!" Caitlyn shouted since I kinda scared her.
My fingers ran through my hair. "Gosh I am so dumb! They left this morning at 6:00!"
Tess's eyes widened. "Please don't tell me you mean the Grays."
"That's exactly what I'm talking about!"
"Then let's get dressed already!" Caitlyn shouted, throwing us all into a panic of getting ready for the morning.
I got on my jeans and shirt, not really caring about my hair since it pretty much stayed the same, messy and short. I slipped on my shoes and the three of us ran out. We ran through the village, to my house. When I got there, I saw the rooms empty. My head hung low. "They left."
"I'm sorry, Dani," Caitlyn said.
"Wanna go visit Mitchie?" Tess suggested.
I blinked my eyes hard to make sure no tears showed through. "Yeah, sure. Won't be going anywhere anyway."
We walked to Mitchie's shop, seeing her sitting at her table, playing with her Tarot Cards.
"Hey," the three of us chimed in.
Mitchie picked her head up. "Hey kiddies. What's up?"
"Dani needs some cheering up," Caitlyn told. "Got anything?"
Mitchie stacked up her tarot cards and put them aside for her crystal ball. "Come, Dani. Sit. Let's see what the future has for you."
I sighed. "Probably for me to grow old and alone and to die in early age."
Tess scoffed. "No need for the dramatacy."
I sat down on the chair across the table from Mitchie.
"So, anything in particular you would like to see?" Mitchie asked.
I shrugged. "I guess the outcome of the arranged marriage."
She used her hands to see into the crystal ball. Not that I wasn't into this magic psychic stuff, but I just didn't have the spirit in me right now.
"So, what do ya see?" Tess asked after a minute.
Mitchie opened her once closed eyes. "Well, I saw a wedding."
I slumped in my seat. "Oh man, so it's still a go. Who's in it?"
"From what I see, Nate's the groom."
I sighed. "Great, Danielle chose Nate as the husband for the arranged marriage."
Mitchie shrugged, laughing. "I don't know, but there was definitely a lot of smooching."
I pouted while Caitlyn and Tess glared.
"I'm not helping am I," Mitchie said as her laughter suddenly died down.
"Not one bit," Caitlyn said with a smile.
I stood up out of my seat. "Uh, I'm gonna go for a walk, alright guys? I think I need some time alone."
Mitchie nodded. "Alright, but come here after. You can move in with me if you want."
I nodded and went through the door. It was still morning, so I walked through the town, heading for the woods. Like in anime, those quiet mysterious woods always seemed to give you a feeling of serenity and tranquility. And that was just what I needed right now.
As I was walking, it began to rain. I didn't bother trying to keep myself dry, so my clothes and hair all got wet. I hugged my arms, feeling a little cold from it. Though, I continued walking. I didn't know it, but I was crying a little, the fresh rain mixing with my salt water tears. I made it to a cave in the forest and ran in. Now I wanted to be dry and warm. I ran into the darkness and bumped into something. I screamed and fell back, fear slightly higher than usual since it was so dark.
"Who's there?!" I shouted, hoping it wasn't some wild animal or killer.
"Dani?" asked a familiar voice.
I narrowed my eyes, trying to see through the darkness. "Nate?"
I felt arms wrap around me. "Dani, I am so glad you're ok."
Some of my tears continued falling unwillingly and onto Nate's warm shirt. I felt his strong abs and muscles around me, like when we were asleep. "So it is you."
Nate laughed and broke off the hug. "What are you doing out here? You're wet."
I pouted. "I came because I wanted to try and forget about you. And I'm wet because of the rain."
I knew Nate's expression changed, even though I cound't see it. "What? Why?"
I shook my head, my wet hair slapping across the sides of my face. "Forget it. Why are you even here? I thought you guys would leave this morning."
"Yeah, I told the guys I would take a cab or something later. I decided I needed to find you."
I rolled my eyes and stood up, still hugging my arms. "Well you found me. Now goodbye."
I began stomping off deeper into the cave and I heard Nate's footsteps follow me. "Dani wait! It's dangerous in here!"
My walking turned into running. "Why do you care?! I'm not the real Danielle!"
One step later, I felt my foot fall through the ground, when in reality, there was no ground. I almost fell into the hole in front of me. I saw my life flash before my eyes, most of the memories involving Nate. I guess no matter how much I tried to block him out, he just kept coming back.
"Dani!" Nate called after me, starting to catch up.
More tears fell down my eyes, like twin waterfalls. I shut them and made that last step, purposly going into the hole. And, I didn't scream. I had no need too. I had no reason left to live. The real Danielle Collens can take my place now. I'd just be a nuisance.
As my foot that used to be standing on the ground fell onto the hole, something else grabbed onto me, and hold me in a hug.
I didn't make any movements, since I figured I would die from this fall anyway. Why Nate decided to jump in here with me, I'll never figure out. We were were falling head first, like a meteor from space, plumeting to earth.
"Why?" I whispered, my tears falling off my face as we gained speed in our fall.
"Because," Nate started, his grip tighter but gentle. "I still care about you, Dani."
My tear filled eyes shot open, still seeing nothing but darkness. Nate just said he still cared about me. And, it gave me some spark of hope.
I remebered that time at the festival, when I mysteriously healed Nate's cut. I started having long flashbacks in my head, they were so similar to the scenes in the play, but, these seemed so real, in setting and in people and in emotions. I saw visions of the real Priestess Denami and the real Prince Noriko. Surprisingly, they looked a lot like me and Nate, scary alike. Then a oh so familiar scene came through my head. I saw Denami in a bed and Noriko holding her hands, crying.
I shut my eyes an concentrated on that familiar feeling of being a priestess. I mentally grasped it and took advantage of it. I sensed the ground near us as our fatal landing. I used my abilities and slowed our fall. Gently, we landed on the surprisingly grassy floor, like a feather landing due to gravity.
"You alright?" Nate asked, his breath sending shivers down my spine.
"I guess," I answered, still feeling my wet clothes stick to my skin.
He let go off me and we sat up. There was an awkward silence again.
"Why did you have to stay?" I asked since it was so quiet.
"Like I said before Dani, I care about you," Nate answered truthfully.
I scoffed, turning my head. "Nate, I'm only a clone, a copy of the original. I'm not real."
I felt Nate's hand reach mine on the ground. "No you're not, Dani. To me you're one of the realest people I've ever known. You're true to yourself, you're clever, you're human on the inside. And nothing, not even the real Danielle Collens, can replace you in my head."
I looked towards him in surprise. I still couldn't see his face because of the darkness.
"You're my best friend, Dani. Nothing will ever change that," he concluded, rubbing the top of my hand with his thumb in circular motions. "And I know you'd feel the same way if I were in your shoes."
I cracked a small smile. "Actually, I wouldn't."
I could tell he was surprised, especially since his thumb stopped massaging my hand. "Why?" Because I feel so much more than just best friends.
I looked down, feeling blushes come again after a long while. "Actually Nate, there's something I think I should tell you. Um, you see, I don't know why but, I... kinda... " I sighed. This wasn't easy for me. "Nate, I've liked you. I don't know for how long, but I realize now that I do. I might even love you. I know this sounds crazy coming from me, but I..." I stopped there, closing my eyes and feeling my head drop. But then, I felt a tug on my hand and before I knew it, I was in another hug from Nate, me in between his legs.
"Nick?" I asked from shock.
I felt his lips form a smile. "I don't know about you, but I somehow feel like that prince from that play."
My eyes softed up. "How?"
He shrugged his shoulders. "While we were falling, I saw visions of the Prince and the Priestess, and not from the play... maybe that legend has some truth, with, you know, the priestess casting a spell so they'd be reincarnated?... Us...?"
I smiled at him. Before we knew it, we closed in on a kiss, my lips in his soft ones. I never knew how soft Nate's lips could be. Our short kiss quickly ended as quick as it happened. Even though it was dark, I could see his eyes, me already lost in them, just as he was lost in mine.
I laughed a bit, Nate forming a blush on his cheeks. "Um, well, compared to all those other awkward incidents, I guess this one really takes the cake," he said.
I smiled. "Well, since it can't get any more awkward than this, maybe we should stick with it."
He smiled and I felt him pull me into another kiss, his hands on both sides of my face. My hands went from his well built chest to the back of his head. I could feel his sweat on his neck and his hair, as curly as it was. He smiled into the kiss and licked the bottom of my lip, asking for entrance. Me, never really being an expert on kissing, knew Nate did this before. But, I put our awkwardness to the side and opened my mouth. His tongue went into mine, searching every inch of it. And likewise, I did the same with his, savoring the taste. For a real first kiss, it wasn't as awkward as I had always thought it would be. Actually, it was just great.
As we continued to kiss, the darkness around us started to disappear. Fire flies started flying around everywhere, lighting up the entire cave. And right in the center of the cave was a long time asleep Sakura Tree. The rain cleared and the sun shone in through the top of the cave, making the darkness completely disappear.
Nate and I parted, smiling. We noticed how much brighter it has gotten during our 'kiss'. The fire lies were floating around here and there. And guess what, we were sitting right in front of the Sakura Tree from the legend. We watched in awe as it's thousands of Sakuras opened up, blossoming. It was a true miracle that we had just witnessed.
"Well, I guess the curse is finnaly broken," I said, still smiling as I starred at the tree. "Two in love must share their first kiss together under the tree, and the curse will be lifted."
Nate nodded, smiling like me. "Now, the prince and his priestess are reunited."
I smiled at him as he reached for something in his pocket. He pulled out the cherry blossom hair clip that I left and placed it back in my hair. "There, looks-"
"Nice?" I asked, completing his sentence.
He gave me a look. "Since we're no longer awkward with eachother, I think I'm safe to say beautiful."
We laughed, as the cherry blossom petals strated to fly around from the mysterious wind that somehow entered this cave.
"DANI!" Shane squealed like a little girl, running to me and hugging me, spinning me around at his front door.
I laughed as he placed me back on my feet. "Good to see you again, Shane."
Jason came up behind me, placing his hand on top of my head. "Don't you dare run off like that again, you hear?"
I smiled and turned around, hugging Jason.
"Yay Dani's home!" Aiden cheered, sliding down the stair banister and landing on me, making us fall to the ground. I countered with a surprise tickle attack, throwing him onto the couch.
"How'd you get here anyway?" Shane asked, hugging me from behind.
"Hey, hands off my girlfriend," Nate said, walking into the house with my bags.
"Nate!" Aiden shouted, instantly sitting back up. "That is the last time we leave you alone in another town!" Nate laughed as his brothers hugged him.
"Again I ask, how'd you get here?" Shane repeated.
"Heyyy!" Mitchie, Tess, and Caitlyn shouted at the door, their three heads sticking in from the side.
"Mitchie!" Shane shouted, tacking her into a bush. Good thing Catilyn and Tess got out of the way.
"Mitchie was the only one with a car that would fit all of us," Nate explained for
"What's going on here?" asked a familiar voice, walking down the stairs.
I looked up and saw Danielle. The room got awkward as she walked up to me.
"So," she said, feeling the same way I was. "Uh, no hard feelings?" she asked, holding out her hand.
I looked at it and smiled, shaking it. "We're cool."
Shane sighed. "Finally some relief."
"Anyhow, I'm assuming you and Nate finally got together?"
I nodded with a grin. "Yup."
She smiled. "Good. Because you're picking him for the arranged marriage."
My eyes cracked wide open, as well as Nate's, Mitchie's, Tess's, and Caitlyn's.
Danielle chuckled. "I talked with Mom. She decided to keep us both, if you decided to come back home. And therefore, she's making the both of us go through the arranged marriage."
"Well I have no problem picking Nate," I said, seeing him smile. "But who will you be choosing?"
She smiled as Jason walked over, placing an arm around her.
My jaw dropped. "Ok what exactly did I miss?"
Shane laughed. "Jason says he likes Danielle, since she's more serious and less childish than the rest of us."
Aiden laughed. "Looks like Shane's the only one not getting married."
"Says you," Shane said.
Aiden grinned and gave a peace sign. "I'm 8. I got an excuse."
"Shoot," Shane said, making all of us laughed.
Mitchie covered Shanee's eyes from behind. "You know kid, we don't have to get married, but we can try and get started on something like a relationship."
Shanee smiled, though still blind from Mitchie's hands. "Just because you're older you still think you can call me kid."
She smirked. "Want me as a girlfriend or don't you?"
Shane laughed. "I can live with this."
Mitchie grinned and they kissed after Shane turned around.
I sighed as Nate came up beside me. "About time we got our final happy ending."
Henodded. "Couldn't have said it better myself, Denami."
I glared at him. "Call me that one more time-"
"Out of my way!" Nate yelled, pushing everyone aside as I chased him. Everyone started laughing and Nate ran from me. Things definitely weren't back to normal, they were better.
"There was once in the land of Feudal Era Japan, a priestess named Denami, a priestess. Durring her teen years, she had fallen in love with her village's prince, Noriko. Of course, the two were of different class. Noriko was of a high class,a prince. Denami was of lower class, a priestess. Although, this did not stop the two hearts from coming together. One day, Prince Noriko was set for an arranged marriage to a princess. Although gifted with beauty, the princess's heart was of greed. Jealous of the Noriko's and Denami's soon-to-blossom love, the princess poisoned the priestess. At her deathbed, she told Prince Noriko, that she was in love with him, and that one day in the future, they will be reunited in reincarnated lives. After the priestess's death, Prince Noriko's heart was shrouded in darkness and sorrow. He cursed arranged marriages, for it was the cause of his first and only love's death. Out of rage, the prince cursed the priestess's family to live under arranged marriages for the eldest daughters, for he trusted in Denami's words. One day, they would be reunited, reunited in an arranged marriage, the one thing that tore them away from eternal happiness...
Many Centuries later, the Priestess and the Prince were reborn in the modern world. One was a young courageous girl by the name of Dani Collens. The other was a boy of much musical talent, named Nate Gray. And by fate, they met and grew up together as childhood friends. And as Prince Noriko's rule told, every eldest daughter in the priestess's family would be set for an arranged marriage. Therefore, Dani was set for an arranged marriage to the Gray Family sons, having three to choose from. After much tragety and good times, Dani chose Nate as her husband in the very end, right after their first kiss under the cursed Sakura Tree. And they lived, happily ever after..."