*Disclaimer: I do not own The Princess Bride or Twilight just the idea of combining the two. No lawsuits please. Note: The characters in the coming chapters may not seem like the characters you remember from the book. This was the only configuration of characters I could come up with that made sense. Please don't hate me. Read, review and tell your friends.*
Chapter 3: Taken
Five years had passed since Edward's death, and Bella was still worse for wear. Though she had finally stepped out of the confines of her room and begun to go about her daily routine again, she barely said a word to anyone, not even her father. She may have been able to go through the day without crying her eyes out and sinking to the floor, but inside her heart was damaged beyond repair. The lights inside her mind were on, but in her heart, no one was home.
One day, several horses pulled up in front of Bella's humble farm house. Although she was hardly interested in the events happening outside her house, she was far from indifferent to them. She walked out of her room and into the living area, where her father was standing at the door, talking with someone. She moved in closer so she could hear the conversation better.
"But…I don't understand…" her father said.
"By law of the land, his royal highness, Prince James, is permitted to have the bride of his choosing. He has chosen your daughter." a knight said.
"But…oh what's the use." Her father sighed.
The knights rode away. Her father revealed the details to her more once they had left. The prince had noticed Bella on one of her morning rides and had instantly become smitten. And being the heir to the throne, Prince James had the royal right to hand pick his bride to be. Unfortunately for Bella, it just so happened that his Highness chose her. And as she grew to find out, Prince James was a Royal Pain in the ass.
Bella had spent the last three weeks in the castle, becoming accustomed to the lifestyle she would have as queen. But regardless of how much Prince James reassured her that she would grow to love him and her new life, to Bella those reassurances were just empty words. She did not love him, nor would she ever love him. Thankfully, James allowed her to go on her usual morning rides. That was the only time she really felt like herself anymore. Something about the wind blowing through her hair and the smell of the trees wafting through the breeze helped her keep her head on straight.
One morning, Bella happened to take a longer route than normal. She had really been feeling homesick and the memory of Edward still haunted her like it happened just yesterday, so Bella wasn't really paying attention to where she was going. Suddenly, someone caught her eye. More like three someones. She could see three gentlemen standing in the middle of the woods. One of them was very tall, much taller than the others. He also had a very pronounced build to him, his biceps alone looked like watermelons. Of the other two, one carried a sword and the other looked to be very intelligent, like he could have been a scholar of some kind. He was well dressed, whereas the other two wore clothes that were tattered and covered in dirt. The scholarly one spoke to her as she slowed to meet them.
"A word, milady?" he said quietly. "We are but poor lost circus performers. Is there a village nearby?"
Remembering suddenly the route she had taken and noticing the position of the sun in the sky, Bella replied "There is nothing nearby, not for miles."
The man gave a small grin. "Then there will be no one to hear you scream." He gave the biggest man a little nod. The big man moved towards her with an apologetic look on his face. He raised one of his big hands to her neck. Just as she was about to scream, his hand clamped down on her neck and collarbone, and all went black.
When Bella came to she couldn't tell what time it was or even where she was. She could feel the fabric of a blindfold around her eyes, which explained why she couldn't see. But she could still hear. She could feel the wood beneath her rock back and forth and she could hear the sloshing of water. A boat. Footsteps echoed off the wood of the deck, and she also heard fabric ripping. One of the men spoke up.
"What is that your ripping?" one said. Bella could hear the sound of something flopping at his side. It was the swordsman.
"It's the fabric from the uniform of an army officer of Gilder." The scholar said. She recognized his voice easily enough.
"Who's Gilder?" a third voice said. The big man.
"It's the country across the sea. The sworn enemy of Florin." Bella could he a faint slap and the neigh of her horse. "Once the horse reaches the castle, the fabric will make the prince suspect that the Gilderians have abducted his love. When he finds her body dead on the Gilder frontier, his suspicions will be confirmed."
Bella gave a nervous gulp. Did he say "dead?"
The big man spoke again. "You never said anything about killing anyone."
The scholar spoke again, calm as ever. "I've hired you to help me start a war. It's a prestigious line of work with a long and glorious tradition."
Bella heard the big man sigh. "I just don't think it's right; killing an innocent girl."
The clunk of wood made Bella jump slightly. The scholar had obviously stood up.
"Am I going mad, or did the word think escape your lips?" he said, the pitch and intensity in his voice rising. "You were not hired for your brains, you sorry excuse for a henchman."
"I agree with Jacob." The swordsman replied.
"Oh…the sod has spoken." The scholar scoffed. "What happens to her is not truly your concern. I will kill her. And remember this. NEVER forget this, Seth! When I found you, you were so slobbering drunk, you couldn't buy brandy!" The scholar turned to Jacob. "And you. Friendless, brainless, helpless HOPELESS! Do you want me to send you back to wear you were? Unemployed in Greenland?"
Bella heard footsteps and she assumed the scholar was walking away from the other two. She heard them move closer together and whisper.
"That Sam sure can fuss." Seth said.
"Fuss? Fuss…" Jacob pondered. "I think he just like to scream at us."
"I suppose he means no harm." Seth said.
"But he's very very short on charm." Jacob replied.
Seth chuckled. "You have a great gift for rhymes."
Jacob laughed lightly. "Yes yes. Some of the time."
Bella heard Sam yell from across the deck. "Enough of that."
Seth spoke again. "Jacob, are there rocks ahead?"
Jacob was quick with a response. "If they are, we'll all be dead."
Sam sounded even more agitated. "No more rhymes. I mean it."
"Anybody want a peanut?" Jacob called.
Bella could only sit and groan as Sam seemed to be losing his cool. She was stuck on a boat with rhyming robbers. It didn't seem like things could get much worse. But after thinking about what she just heard, it finally began to sink in. She had been taken from her home and her family. And even worse than that, she was being taken to her death.