Candy walked through the forest, happy at the sight of the Ardley's land.
A long time had past since her last visit to Lakewood, and now, four months and two weeks after her last meeting with Albert, the joy at the thought of seeing him again caught her, filling her heart with a warm and glowing light that kept a fast beating inside.
A smile grew in her face when she remembered about the past, her mind sending her to the start, to the first time when destiny forced both to speak to each other. He had walked down Pony's hill, playing the bagpipe, so masterly well for a young boy.
Remembrance of the words she spoke to him came into her mind widening her warm smile: "It sounds like a group of snails crawling" she said listening to the sound.
Such a silly thing to say! But the blonde boy with blue eyes had not complained, in fact he had laughed a lot, his sincere laugh most of anything else had carried away all of her sorrow and loneliness.
That sweet laughter… the memory of his laughter was so precious, so priceless, that the mere thought of never hearing it again ached inside her soul. How wonderful those moments were! How marvelous each time they laughed together! side by side sharing every happy moment about their lives.
Then, another sweet memory, the image of his beautiful smile appeared in her mind as a dream, so joyful and warm, and suddenly, as a spell, she found herself listening to his laughter as if it was real. The sound of love was introduced in her small ears, traveling through her skin, touching each nerve, each cell deep inside her, filling her soul with a feeling of completeness that she could not compare with anything else.
Leaving behind the memories of the past, suddenly, Candy began to run caught by a strange fear of postponement. She had already spent enough time lost in memories of her past, no longer wanting to wait, she hurried.
Her destination was so near: the Ardley's mansion, and the arms of the man awaiting her return.
The sounds of the forest played a melodious song, loud to her ears, inviting her to stop and listen just for a tiny moment; but she didn't want to stop her running for a single minute. She wanted to reach her final destination and see Albert again.
She yearned to be with him, feel the man's arms surrounding her waist, the softness of his hands on her face, caressing her cheeks, and by his touch, erasing all the sorrows.
She reached Anthony's Gate in only five minutes, the smell of the roses blew softly into her nose, it filled her mind with scenes from the past, Anthony most of all: his voice, his smile and kindness.
Again she felt an incredible joy overtake her, driving her into old remembrances of when he was at her side, caring about her, protecting her; loving her…
She had been in love with Anthony, that was the truth, and so with Terry too. But, here and now, her heart was healing, and so it keep beating in a fast motion, a sign that it continued alive; and her present thoughts were not about him, but his uncle: William Albert. The most important men in her life, her savior, her guardian, and her Prince of the Hill.
Albert was the Prince on Pony's Hill. What a surprise it had been! It was the most incredible and shocking revelation of her life! Her heart kept pounding at the thought of Albert's performance: "First Mr. Albert, later Uncle William and then her Prince" She remembered her first thought at realizing his true identity: "Albert is my Prince".
The truth was simple then and now: the Prince was hers alone. He had always been her Prince from the beginning; always the man for her and by her side. It had always been about them being together; all along the way.
Then, she remembered her second thought at that meaningful meeting: "Blue eyes, that blond hair, soft voice" And, again, in her memory, she saw herself at that magic moment, running so fast to reach him, tears running down all over her cheeks, falling and soaking the fabric of her attractive flowery dress. Life was so mesmerizing at that moment!
"But, what is this? Candy and her beautiful smile are here! How miraculous!" He said. The soft sound of his voice behind her sent her so high at the sky, joining the clouds in a voyage with no end.
She turned toward him. There he was: William Albert Ardley. The man's blue eyes glowing, and his arms opening to welcome her.
"Albert!" She cried out, her voice full of happiness and joy. She began to run so fast, to end just in front of him. He opened his arms wide, enclosing her in a warm and silent welcome, keeping her so near to him, so close that she could feel the fast pounding of his heart under the silk shirt, her own heart beating just as fast as his. Nothing else was more important at that moment than to feel him so near, alive, and most cheerful than ever.
She thanked the Lord for keeping him alive, in spite of the war. The outrageous decision to travel to Europe in the middle of the war had been a hard blow to her sanity. During those days she sunk deep into a lake of sadness, her soul filled with fear, anguish and pain that had almost driven her mad.
She didn't want to miss him any longer: Albert was the most important person in the world. No longer did she want a life so far away from him; she wanted to stay with him forever.
That was the truth.
Suddenly, while the blue gaze of his eyes met hers, she realized the most important person in her life was him. Her feelings were so strong and powerful, she had to admit, she did not want a life without the man that held her captive in his arms, for she was truly in love with him.
Duchess of Kiev: Hello everybody! Here is my first attempt to write a Candy Candy oneshot in English, so if you find it hard to understand, it's all my fault. Thanks to Claridad for being my Beta. I can only say to her: thank you sweetie, for your patience and kindness, I'm very honored for your help.