CHAPTER NO 5

"If you want to stop me, then you'll have to kill me!" dared the princess to the man in front of her

"Don't!... I don't think so... You see, you've forgotten one very important thing, tomorrow night.. There is no ...moon"

And with an hysterical laugh he stepped back, Odette cried with her hands on her face, and Rothbart came to her.

"You should have been mine and no one else's...I'm afraid I'll have to take you somewhere for you to be more comfortable... Odette"

She turned her head to him, but it was too late, he grabbed her by the waist and set his hand on her neck, soon after that she was on a deep sleep. Rothbart held her a moment on his arms, he smelled her hair, and caressedher cheek, her lips, her neck...

"So defenseless now... My Odette, such a tragedy, but I can't let you have it your own way this time, I'm no more Mr Nice guy, you know..." and when his hand went down her neck to touch her chest a ray of light came out from Odette, turning her human form on a swan

"Time to get you to your room" Saying that he went to his castle, carrying Odette, and left her on a dark, deep well.

She woke up, and found herself floating on a cold, pitch dark and humid place. Some rays of light filtered on the tallest part of the wall, but she couldn't see at all, she was there, alone, and this time no one would come to find her... This time she was indeed alone. She could imagine Derek's anxious face when she didn't show up at the ball, and how he had to pick other princess to marry, how Rothbart took control of her kingdom, and she remained there, in the form of a swan, until the day she died. If she had just made things different... She tried to fly to check if she could open the wooden door, but it was useless, it was a thick door, and closed from the outside... She closed her eyes, and a tear came out… a second lasted hours on that darkness, she just kept remembering last time she saw him before all events passed...

FLASHBACK

Finally the day was here, she had to go on board of the royal ship for the last time, to Derek's Kingdom. Lady Arista and Lady Catrina were making sure she wouldn't forget a single thing, they packed more dresses than usual.

"My, dear ladies, that won't be necessary" Said Odette who appeared dressed on a simple white and blue dress

They both looked at her confused, and Lady Arista finally asked "What may your Majesty be planning? And why are you dressed on that simple outfit?"

"I'm not going" She simply answered.

"I'm sure I can assure a prosper kingdom without merging Derek's kingdom with ours" And leaving the ladies with a confused look, she went out to finally tell his father of her decision, and that would be the hardest part.

"Are you getting ready to part, my dear?" His father William was talking with some of his personal guards, those who always accompanied him to those trips.

"Father, We have to talk..." Sadly exclaimed the princess.

"My! All of a sudden, let's talk inside this carriage" As it was the nearest private place Odette agreed to it, and they both got on it.

"I... You see... I decided not to... go to Chamberg". Her father calmed face wasn't a good sign, she expected him to be at least a little bit mad?

"I can improve this Kingdom's economy, on my own". She continued talking "I can go talk to the court and explain everything myself, even I may manage to get foreign agreements and lower taxes without having to..."

"Stop right there young lady, I know what you're thinking" He sounded severe and firm. "But this time I must say NO. I consider myself a loving father, and I recognize I spoiled you too much, yet your naive way of speaking is what worries me the most" He continued "You're the person I best know, and I know what your plans are" The carriage started to move and she couldn't avoid it now.

"Stop it! Please stop this carriage! Please Papa! " She begged the chauffer but this time the carriage didn't stopped. "How could you possibly know? I haven't...told"... She asked with a scared face

"Every girl has a private diary, and after you argued with me that time and didn't gave an answer to Uberta's letters, I decided to look at it"

"How could you?!..." she felt betrayed, everything she had managed to think for herself and to prepare to do was now ruined, she was going towards a chaotic destiny where she just could find rejection, she scared away that sinking feeling every time it came to her mind What if...

What if Derek laughed at her and said "I couldn't believe you showed up! I wasn't expecting you, let me introduce you my future wife Stephany". Or what if... "I'm so sorry Odette, we couldn't Find Derek again, but Bromley will be also an important member of the court, would you like to marry him?"

Her terrifying feelings were smooth when she saw a lot of people from the little window of the carriage carrying white flowers, they celebrated the engagement wearing something white and those Flowers were especially to say goodbye to the princess.

She had so many doubts on her mind, after all he had been sometimes nice to her... But how many times? On that moment she thought she could count them with her fingers, yet...Once he threw a tomato at me... Even if the next years I had my revenge... Odette tried hard, it was just that she couldn't recall any good experience, and all the bad ones, even those from the childhood seem to come to her mind... Like the time they became injured after she kicked the supporting wood of the three house... Or the first time she saw Derek dancing with some other girl at those parties his mother was specialist on...

There must be something!... She said to herself, remembering the time ... He tried to kiss me... It happened just once in all this years, but it wasn't a successful event due to some circumstances and Bromley. And that wouldn't mean anything...

"What am I going to do!?" as she was firm on staying she didn't even though the possibility of arriving to the other kingdom... ever…

"You need to solve your problems, face to face, so even if it's just to reject him, wouldn't he deserve after all this years a sincere answer from the bottom of your heart?" Asked the King after the carriage was already on the ship, they had a special storage room, so they didn't have to get off the carriage to go up and on the ship.

Right... There were two choices, he rejecting me... Or he agreeing to marry

"What am I thinking?..." said while she went to sit on a sofa, the ship had already parted, and now she was being lead to an uncertain future.

He definitively wouldn't accept to marry, but what if I reject him first... Do I perhaps feel... love?

Lady Arista came into the room and brought a white dress with long sleeves.

"I'm sorry princess Odette, I didn't have a choice, please wear this"

Odette was certainly mad, someone she trusted had have to take her diary and shown it to her father.

"It's not your fault..." she said and began changing clothes, then Catrina came with a red cape, as the weather was getting cold, the summer was ending, the first summer she spent on her kingdom. Lady Catrina began to brush her long hair, and left it freely falling behind her shoulders.

Even if he agreed to marry, I want him to have a real reason... That's it!

The journey was the shortest journey on ship of her life; time seemed to pass faster than usual.

Then as she was led to the carriage, she saw Rogers waiting outside the great hall, the principal room used for parties of the castle.

"You'll meet him here" Her dad told her, and got off.

"Dad, wait! I don't want to meet him here, couldn't be somewhere else?" Her dad took her hand and with a strong hold pulled her out of the carriage. "No! I'm refusing to meet him in this place, is too public"

And with the help of Rogers they lift her up taking her by her shoulders and went to the north door.

Her father took her red cape, pushed her inside, closed the door and left, and when she just felt it was too much to bear, she slowly began to turn around, just to find the so mentioned prince Derek standing there and slowly giving her a wide smile.

He just looked at her astonished, without taking his eyes from her any second, she felt a bit embarrassed, and her knees felt weak for a moment, after all he was the only boy... Man...she had ever felt something for, and by what they lived so far she knew that inside of him there was a kind and loving person.

He began to walk towards her, so she approached also, feeling awkward. When they both were close, she made a polite reverence, and he corresponded with a bow worth of a gentleman. He then took both of her hands and told her "So happy you could come..." This time was different, there was no sparkle of sarcasm on his face or voice, he seemed enchanted by something and actually happy to see her, it was like a dream, and all her doubts went somewhere else far.

"So happy to be here..." as their hands touched they both felt their stomach fly away far, like a sort of connection which was always there but unknown for both of them, a magical type of chemistry

She smiled as they had previously talked about those phrases, and how their parents forced them to say every time they met, but somehow now the phases made complete sense, and they both knew that...

So she whispered "They are behind the door right?..." in complicity Derek just answered "You bet...Prepare yourself for the ... " Yet he couldn't finish what he was about to say, as the doors opened loudly and 10 maids came in bringing white flowers to the tables settled behind them, lots of servants came bringing big plates of food and canapés, and drinks, soon the place was all filled with exquisite refreshments, and lots of nobles, and the court came in the place by the south doors. The curtains revealed Rogers orchestra, which began playing loud music.

They just stood there, and Derek kept holding Odette's hand until Rogers changed the music to a soft one, then he smiled "Shall we do the traditional waltz?" Odette just smiled back and accepted his hand, yet she didn't understood why was he acted so different, yet she was willing to ask him, whether it was a yes or a no, the reason to it.

As they danced, a cozy atmosphere felt between them, and he didn't take his eyes from her, but where was he looking at? He kept watching her lips, and she could feel his hand trembling a little, so she let herself go into that atmosphere, the song was about to end, and as she began closing her eyes, his free hand caressed her hair, approaching her gently until both lips found themselves into a tender kiss, she placed her hand on his shoulder softly, as she felt how her feet left the ground, and for a moment she forgot the court watching them, she forgot their past, she even forgot her name, but then, when they both got apart, the voice from the one who flew her to the moon was the same one that brought her back to earth, out of that elation, when he said…

"Arrange the wedding" And turned to the people behind them, She knew something wasn't right, this wasn't in any way what she was expecting, and even though she knew she loved him truly she had to find out the reason... She had to find out what were his true feelings, and as the people began to cheer, Derek' mother was even jumping; she had to stop all this fuss... "WAIT!..." Suddenly, came the silence, did this meant she didn't want to marry him...?

"What?...Odette, you're all I ever wanted! You're beautiful!" Said Derek with a worried face

Then it came, that simple but dreadful sentence

"Thanks, but... What else?

Derek could feel King William giving her a negative reaction...What did she meant by that? What did she want to hear? It was a nerve wrecking question, and Derek's mind went blank, blocked, they were there to marry, and spend a life together, so what would that question matter? It was Derek's final test, and his answer would determine things, even if Odette would have liked to ask this in private, she didn't know things would turn out that way.

"Is beauty all that matters to you?..." Finally she asked, giving the last hint to the shocked prince...

"Derek? ... What else?.." Said Queen Uberta from her place

"What else.. Is there?"...

END OF THE FLASHBACK

A noise woke up Odette from her obnubilation, she felt she had been there for ages, someone opened the door, and then she heard the voice of the person she despises the most, and some red roses were thrown to her.

"It hurts...Having you locked up here... It's too painful, yet... the life of a King is full of though decisions Odette, do you understand?..." She felt anger inside of her; she hated him as much as someone could hate a person, a murderer, so she began destroying the flowers with all her might.

"Ohhh, you're mad at me again! Damn it! I Can't do anything right! I'm such a fool... But I Can't leave you like that my little princess, if you aren't happy I'm not happy either... I know! ...If you can't go to the ball, I'll bring the ball to you... And you need a dance partner,... The prince is busy, you know... but I brought a substitute..."

She saw a person she knew, and she never felt so relieved to see him, it was Bromley. She helped him to get to the surface, now she wasn't alone, and Derek's best friend was there with her... Even If he was... Well... Bromley.

"I Can't be late, that looks bad... " Said as Odette gave him a cold stare "Don't.. give me that look missy! , you had to involve your prince didn't you? You were a bad girl, but it's fine with me! Just fine with me!" saying that he closed the door and left...

Now maybe she had some hope, and someone would come and look for them... Maybe... Yet that Rothbart's sentence "I Can't be late" what could he possibly be planning now? To go after Derek and show up at the middle of the ball? He was mad, and dangerous, she had to find a way out of that place... Then after what it seemed an eternity of her worthless efforts to open the door, her most dear friends came to her rescue, she couldn't believe it, they were the sparkle of hope she needed, so she even promised to her dear Jean Bob "when all this is over, remind me to kiss you"

...

END

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Then this will soon be finished, as according to the timeline n.n just one more chapter left, thank you all for lending me your eyes to read and your fingers to write a review, hugs! And merry Christmas (soon)