He was kissing her again. His roughly carved lips pressed gently on her long, elegant neck. He pulled his head up so their noses were touching and their mouth millimeters away from one another. Her hands were placed on his cheeks, her fingers passing over his stubbly beard. One of his hands was resting on her back, the other running through her hair. It was beautiful, mahogany in colour, and it shone blissfully like a wildfire in the morning sun. She leant forward and he tipped his head to the right to receive the kiss. Their lips pushed softly against each others, both being very delicate, like the other one was made of glass. Gradually, it became stronger, passion surging into the kiss. He put both of his hands on the back of her neck, while she curled his hair around her fingers…

He shot upright, sweat covering his entire face, his eyes wide open with shock and fear. He gave himself a couple of seconds, and then breathed out heavily, swung his legs over to the open side of the bed and placed his head in his hands. It wasn't the first time he had had this dream, and he was God-damn sure it wouldn't be the last. Looking around, his vision slightly blurred and woozy, he grabbed his rucksack from behind one of the posters on his bed. He delved around, pulling out all sorts of random objects including a strange dragon figure made of silver, a huge stash of papers with weird symbols on them, and a beautiful gold and sapphire necklace. He tossed it sadly from hand to hand for a while, gazing intently at all its intricate engravings and markings, becoming almost lost in them, before setting it aside. Fumbling around once more, he finally grabbed hold of what he wanted. He pulled out a large-ish, water bottle sized, nesting doll. On one side there was an image of an ugly, ageing woman with red-grey hair, wearing robes of midnight blue embroidered with golden thread. However, on the other side, there was the woman from his dream. Veronica. She had long, shiny brown hair. On the end of her eyelids there lay millions of beautifully long black lashes, framing her chocolate brown eyes. She was beautiful. She too wore robes, but they were pale violet with blue threading, showing her, in society, to be nothing more than a plain old civilian. But she was so much more than that. The true love of his life, and he meant that. He missed her like hell. Every day, every minute, every single second, was pure agony. His insides burnt up at every memory, every remembrance of very kiss. Can you even begin to imagine finding your soul-mate at long last and then not being able to see them, talk to them, for one hundred and forty-nine years? He spent hours, days sometimes wasting away in front of her picture. And the thing that killed him the most? He could set her free, but it would be all too easy; because if he released Veronica, then someone else would come out of the doll too. And he couldn't let that happen. Or they would both die. He looked closer at Veronica's picture. Tears came to his murky brown eyes but then came a sort-of lopsided trace of a smile as he reminisced about how they first came to meet.

One hundred and fifty-two years ago…

He hurried, to the point where he was almost sprinting, along the street, avoiding market stalls and the hundreds of people all crowding around in the market square. A group of around ten or so little children suddenly came springing out of no-where behind him and one of them, as they passed, barged past him and pushed him down to the dusty floor. In mid fall however, he managed to somehow push over a tall woman standing next to him as well. She dropped all her papers and landed on her knees, dirtying her robes.

'I am so sorry ma'am. I truly am.' He cried out to the woman, offering a dirty hand to her. Cautiously, which he found rather strange, she took his outstretched hand and let him pull her up. He almost dropped her, from the sharp, almost electric shock he received when he touched her.

'It is okay. I am perfectly fine.' She said, her voice ringing with a foreign accent. Was it Spanish? Anyway, which ever language it was, it was beautiful. She was beautiful.

'May I help you in any way?' he offered, beginning to kneel down beside her and help her to regain some of her possessions.

'Thank you.' She replied simply. When everything was eventually collected up, he asked her,

'Where may I ask, are you headed. Maybe I could escort you?'

'To a castle. Loomburg Castle. Somewhere in Wiltshire?' she replied once again. A look of surprise (happy surprise) appeared upon his face.

'Strangely enough, that is where I am headed also.'

She smiled and linked arms with him, causing him to blush for what must've been the first time in his whole life…

One hundred and fifty-two years later…

He missed her. There was no doubt about it. But if he had too, he would search a hundred years, a thousand years, to free her. Because he loved her, and she loved him. And that's what people do for love.