Author's Note: Has it been over six months? I am so sorry for the long delay! Please enjoy!
The first thing I heard was voices. They hummed low and gradually got louder as I found my way back to consciousness.
"And you're sure?" That was Merrick and he sounded a bit worried and even angry. "You're positive that she's the one?"
"Well, we have to make sure, but why else would the orgs target her?" Dastan questioned. "She's the Princess."
They were calling me a princess?
I forced myself to open my eyes found that I was in a white room. A huge window that led onto a balcony of sorts let in the last few wisps of sunlight as well as a cool breeze. I shivered slightly as I forced myself out of bed and let my feet hit the marble floor.
"Merrick," Alexander began. "You understand that if she's the Princess—"
"Which she is!" Dastan interjected.
"That anything you and she had together—" Alexander continued cautiously.
"I know," Merrick told him quietly, his voice strangely sad. "I know what my duty is."
I peeked my head out the door to see all the Warriors gathered around a huge, wooden table. One of them—Matthew—met my gaze and quickly rose, only to bow. The others quickly followed in his suit.
"Forgive us, Princess," Leon told me apologetically. "We were unaware that you had woken up."
"Please rise," I told them for it was making me uncomfortable to see all these men—the proud warriors of our kingdom—bowing to me. I wasn't a princess and I certainly hadn't been raised as one. "Please, there is no need for any formalities between us. I am not a Princess."
"But you are!" Alexander protested, only to be met by a sharp glare from Dastan. "Forgive me, Princess, I spoke out of turn."
"Rise," I tried again and this time, they all seemed to listen for they lifted their heads. "There, that's better, isn't it?" The Warriors all remained silent and I felt slightly uncomfortable. Blushing slightly, I tried to figure out what I should say next. I mean, these Warriors—the people that everyone respected—were bowing to me and that in itself was a little jarring.
"Princess—" Merrick began and as he stepped forward, I felt my heart skip a beat.
"My name is Shayla," I told him quietly and a startled look appeared on his face. "Why do all of you keep calling me Princess?" Merrick glanced at Dastan for help and he simply nodded his head. Merrick then met my gaze.
"Princess Shayla," He continued and I prevented myself from rolling my eyes. It would seem that he had forgotten how to say my name without putting a title before it. "Tell me, what have your dreams been like?"
"What?" The question caught me off guard. What did my dreams matter to the Warriors? Merrick didn't say anything and I could tell that he was being serious—my answer to the question was important. "I dream of— well, this may sound odd, but I dream of animals."
"Tell me more about the animals." Merrick gently implored.
"Well, they are huge!" I exclaimed. "Much bigger than any animals you would see here and they look slightly like machines." I glanced at the Warriors to make sure that they weren't laughing at me. "I don't know . . . they just seem to stand there and meet my gaze. A few times, I thought they were about to speak."
No one said anything for the longest time until Dastan finally stepped forward and bowed once more before me. The other Warriors followed his suit and confusion gripped me. Why were they doing this?
"Princess Shayla," Dastan began. "We are so relieved to have found you."
"I am not a princess!" I protested. "I was never born into royalty."
"You don't have to be," Merrick informed me. "You are the guardian of the Wild Zords and as such, you are our Princess."
"Wild Zords?" I felt so helplessly lost. None of what they were saying was making any sense to me!
"We don't have time to explain here," Dastan told me. "Until we've gotten you safe on the Animarium, we must not stop, Princess."
Before I could protest, Dastan nodded to Merrick and then all the Warriors disappeared. Merrick remained though and I was glad for his presence. Everything was getting so confusing and messed up! How could I be a princess? It was impossible!
"Princess," Merrick began quietly. "If it pleases you, Dastan would like me to be your personal escort."
"I would greatly appreciate it," I answered truthfully. Merrick was the only Warrior that I knew well enough to feel slightly comfortable about. "But, I am not a Princess."
"But you are," He said softly, a look of pain once again flashing in his eyes. "All will be explained when we reach the Animarium."
"Animarium?" I repeated.
"Your new home, Princess."
Too much was happening at once. One day I was just Shayla, and now I was a princess! It was hard to take in and hard to believe. Still, if this Animarium held answers for me, then I would go. Where else could I go now that Mother was . . . now, that she had perished.
I would go. It was as simple as that.
Author's Note: Review please!