A/N: Hello faithful readers im back again with another one shot! Please forgive the shortness of my fics, I will attempt a lengthy one soon in the mean time I want to get the feel of writing SP properly so I am experimenting a little.

This fic is based around the same time frame as 'Truth or Dare' Odette is around the 13/14 age mark and Derek and Brom are around 15/16.

Summary: Odette wants to be part of the club, Derek says she has to initiate.

Please review, let me know some one is actually reading these and inspire me to continue.

Enjoy every one!


Kindness and Courage

Her slender fingers clutched the wooden railings of the grand ship, her knuckles white as she gripped the varnished wood tightly. Odette hated sailing, it always made her feel like her stomach was literally turning inside out. She had yet to be able to keep down a meal whilst at sea and regardless or whether the waters were calm or erratic she still found herself hurling over the side. True is was not very lady like to be seen in such a state but after ten years of sailing to Uberta's kingdom all her fathers crew were used to seeing her this way by now.

Leaning forward she allowed another wave of nausea to take over her and as silently as she could, brought her breakfast up. She straightened, a single tear rolling down her pale cheek as she looked out to sea, Uberta's castle just coming into view in the distance. A gentle hand rested on her shoulder and Odette looked up and into the sympathetic eyes of her father. He handed her a handkerchief which she took and wiped her mouth with.

"We shall hopefully dock just before supper." William said to his daughter looking out into the distance where Uberta's kingdom had just started coming into view. Odette groaned at the sound of supper fairly certain she would not be eating anything for a while.

William looked down at his daughters face as she lent against the railings staring aimlessly out to sea. The light breeze blew her long blonde hair back from her shoulders and off her forehead falling in a heavy mass down her back. Her beauty was already beginning to exceed her years, her face clear of freckles and her cheek bones perfectly set, William could not help but see his beloved late wife in her. He smiled fondly leaning against the railings beside her and they stood in silence for several moments.

"How are you feeling?" he asked quietly and his daughter shrugged.

"Im alright, I just want to get off this boat." Odette groaned resting her face in her hands. William chuckled bringing an arm over her shoulders and bringing her to him.

"Not long now my child" he whispered planting a kiss on the top of her head.

….

"Derek the carriage is waiting!" Uberta exclaimed her forehead creased in frustration at her teenage son. Prince Derek slouched in an arm chair knowing that he was too heavy for his mother to lift him now, he folded his arms over his chest refusing to meet her gaze.

Uberta growled in annoyance as she picked up her skirts and walked into Derek's room and behind his chair. Derek watched her movements curiously but said nothing. Suddenly his arms flung out to grip the arms of the chair as it began to loudly slide across the stone floor.

"Mother!" he cried craning his neck around behind him.

"I will push this chair all the way to the gates if I have to!" she screeched as she lent all her body weight against the back of the chair pushing it towards the door. Derek groaned and jumped up to his feet turning to face her.

"Why do we have to meet them at the docks?" he wined. His mother straightened and regained her composer.

"Because like it or not she is your betrothed and it is out of respect we are meeting them at the docks. I am the queen and you are the prince and we always act with dignity and grace." Derek scoffed out a laugh thinking that shoving his arm chair half way across his room was hardly dignified and letting out a sigh in defeat he allowed his mother to lead him down to the carriage

Derek sat in the back of the carriage looking out as King William's boat docked. His mother was out waiting to greet them but he had opted to stay in his seat. Leaning forward he strained his eyes to see William and Odette walk off the ship into their kingdom. He raised his eyebrows at the site of Odette, it had been a year since he had last seen her and she looked almost completely different, he would almost consider her attractive if her personality wasn't so vulgar. She was wearing a lilac gown and her hair had grown longer and lighter and she wore it in a long braid that fell over her shoulder. He watched as his mother greeted the pair of them and begin to lead them back towards the carriage. For a second Derek caught Odette's eye but he quickly sat back away from the window.

After a few moments the carriage door opened and instead of his mother it was Odette who climbed in. she offered him a small smile still feeling nauseous from the sea and sat up against the window beside him. Derek lent out of his window and saw his mother climbing into their second carriage with William and let out a sigh of annoyance. She had done this on purpose and now he had to sit with Odette for an hour while they made their way back to the castle. For a long while neither of them spoke. Derek sat upright, his arms folded over his chest while Odette stayed pressed up against the open window hoping that the light breeze might settle her stomach. It didn't bother her that Derek didn't want to talk, infact it actually worked in her favour due to how sick she was feeling.

"I hope you don't expect me to apologise for last summer." Derek scoffed thinking of Odette's last departure and the stunt he pulled with a tomato and a sling shot. Odette groaned shaking her head not turning to look at him.

"Good because I wasn't going to."

He turned to look at her, the wind had blown her hair from her face and he could see she looked rather pale, her eye lids hanging heavy over her blue eyes.

"Are you ill? You best not give it to me."

Odette grunted turning to face him for the first time since she had gotten in the carriage.

"I know it will be difficult for you but could you please try to keep quite? I am still feeling sea sick and your whining is not helping me." she growled almost dangerously before hanging her head back out of the window. Derek huffed in response looking away from her.

"If you are so bad at travelling by sea then why do you continue to come here every summer?" Derek mumbled resting his head back on his seat.

"My being here is not by choice believe me" Odette whimpered closing her eyes. She rested herself back into her seat trying to get herself comfortable.

Derek didn't say anything after that instead he kept his eyes glued to what was happening outside of his window as they rode through his kingdom. Seeing the villagers working intrigued him, watching them build fences and houses constantly reminded him that he was lucky to be in a position where he would never have to work but he vowed that when he was in a position of power, he would help his people. He was not afraid to get his hands dirty.

He turned back to look at Odette who was now asleep leaning on the side of the carriage. Her arms were wrapped around her stomach and her hair had come lose from the constant breeze coming in through the window. Derek's expression softened as he looked at her. She was beautiful and he felt sorry that she had to travel three days by sea to get to his kingdom when she had yet to find her sea legs. Turning back to face forward Derek too closed his eyes thinking a light nap might do him good.

What must have been a pot hole in the road caused the carriage to jump dramatically. Derek's eyes flew open and Odette grumbled in her sleep.

"Apologies Sir." the driver called from out front of the carriage. Derek shook his head and began to close his eyes again when something hit his shoulder. Turning to look he saw Odette had slid down towards him and she now rested against his right side, her head on his shoulder. His first instinct was to push her off but when he looked at her he could still see her skin was pale with nausea and decided against it. If worse came to worse then he would just pretend to be asleep and claim ignorant to the situation. Resting his head against the back of his seat once more he closed his eyes and allowed himself to relax. He felt Odette unconsciously snuggle against him, a small sigh escaping her lips and Derek smiled feeling comfortable himself.

The pair were still asleep when they arrived at the castle and Uberta opened the carriage doors to see a most unexpected sight. The two teens were practically laying down on the long seat with Derek's head pillowed by him arm at one end and his feet almost out of the window on the other end. Odette was asleep beside him her head on his chest, her lilac skirts sprawled over the Prince's legs. Unsure of what to make of their compromising position and unsure of how they got that way in the first place Uberta decided to clear her throat loudly which caused Odette's eyes to flutter open and Derek to stir. It took Odette a few minutes to remember where she was, her mind still drowsy. She looked up from where she lay and saw Uberta standing at the open carriage door her eye eyebrow raised. The princess was not quite sure what that look was for until she became aware of the warm body under her. Her eyes looked down to see the familiar dark purple colour of Derek's tunic and looking down she saw a hand draped around her waste that wasn't hers. Her cheeks coloured quickly and she immediately pushed herself up to see Derek still fully asleep. She climbed over his legs and out of the carriage leaving the prince there, confused about how she ended up like that with him. She said nothing to Uberta as she walked passed to greet her father, her cheeks burning with embarrassment.

Uberta watched Odette walk passed her before turning her gaze back to her still sleeping son. It never ceased to amaze her how much he could sleep through. In a swift notion, she swung her hip around to knock the carrage and cleared her throat again this time louder and Derek shot up. His eyes were wide with shock at first as he looked around clocking immediately that they had arrived at his castle. Odette was no longer here and his mother was looking rather furious.

"Derek, how can you be so ungraceful?" his mother hissed as he climber out of the carriage. Derek frowned looking at her unsure of what she meant.

….

Time flew by quickly and much to Uberta's assumptions from the teens compromising position when they arrived, Derek and Odette had quickly shattered any hope she had. The pair argued and pranked each other as they had done every summer for the last decade.

Today was no better, it was barely past lunch and Derek was already in a second change of clothes from when he and Odette went riding. Though Derek refuses to say anything about the matter Uberta was no fool and knew Odette was the reason for Derek's shoddy appearance upon their return. Derek was no better however, already today Odette was also in her second change of clothes after having been soaked by a mysterious bucket of water that was resting above the door of the stables. Odette too had claimed ignorant to how it had gotten there but Uberta knew it was her son. All she could do was hope that the pair would eventually grow out of it. She had sent them on a walk around the gardens hoping that the romantic scenery and lakes would maybe coax them both into a better mood. However, when Derek came back soaked and Odette with a torn dress she slapped her face in frustration sending them both to get changed for a third time.

It was just after supper that Derek's friend Bromley came over. Odette had rolled her eyes upon his arrival for Derek always managed to act even more inhuman when he was here.

She sat at the top of the stairs to the court yard watching the too boys whispering to each other below her.

"You know its rude to whisper" she piped up in annoyance looking around the gardens for any tree houses they might flee too.

"Sorry Princess but only club members can hear top secret information." Bromley called up with a wave. Odette huffed folding her arms over her chest furious that she was even a little bit intrigued at what 'club' Bromley was referring to.

"What club?" she asked as the boys continued to whisper to each other.

"it's a top secret club" Derek hissed at her. "And you cant join."

"Why not? Is it boys only?" she growled pushing herself to her feet and making her way down the stone stairs to where they stood. Derek noticed how intrigued she was by this, if she wasn't then she wouldn't have wasted the energy walking down the stairs.

"As a matter of fact y-"

"No" Derek quickly cut Brom off. He turned to face Odette a wicked smile plastered to his face and Odette raised an eyebrow.

"No its not just boys but I don't think you could handle the initation."

"What initiation?" Odette asked, her voice making it sound pathetic.

"Well if you want to be part of the club you have to initate to make sure that you are a worthy member." Derek explained. Odette looked at him unconvinced before turning to Bromley how nodded dumbly.

"What do you have to do?" she asked. She didn't really care about being part of the stupid club but she wanted to prove that she was not a prissy princess.

"Well, you have to spend a whole night out in the gardens." Derek began.

"Is that it?" Odette laughed.

"Its not a laughing matter Princess you see Bernadette prowls the gardens at night."

"B-Bernadette?" Bromley stammered.

"Who is Bernadette?" Odette asked calmly.

"Bernadette is the tortured spirit of an old prisoner of the castle."

"You are just making that up. This is stupid" Odette scoffed turning away and Derek shook his head.

"Prove me wrong then, stay out here tonight and see for yourself. If you survive the entire night then you can join our club."

Still facing away Odette thought for a moment. She had never heard of this Bernadette soul before and was positive Derek was making it up just to scare her. She didn't want to be part of his club that much but she wanted Derek to take her seriously and stop seeing her as a stupid little girl.

"Fine, ill do it." she said before walking back up the stairs and into the castle.

….

Dusk fell quickly and Odette searched the grounds for Uberta. She was not afraid of some alleged spirit but she was not about to go camping outside alone for obvious reasons. Derek would point blank refuse to come and quickly brand her as a scardy cat so she had a better idea. She found Uberta in the ball room with Rogers and sheepishly made herself known.

"Come in my dear" Uberta smiled sweetly coaxing Odette closer. "What can I do for you?"

"Well I just wondered where you kept your tents and camping equipment?"

"Why do you ask?"

"Derek had an idea that he, Bromley and I should camp in the gardens tonight with it being such a nice warm evening."

Uberta looked at Rogers who shrugged before looking back at Odette who had an innocent smile plastered to her face.

"You want to camp?" the elder lady repeated and Odette nodded.

"Ok fine, I will send for Chamberlin to fetch the camping things and tell Derek to be ready outside for him promptly.

"Thank you" Odette nodded before making a quick exit. It wasn't long before she passed Derek in the halls. He made a point of looking out of the window.

"Its getting dark Princess." he teased.

"I know, your mother has sent Chamberlin for the camping equipment and asks that you be ready outside to help him set the tents up."

Derek paled slightly halting in his stride.

"Excuse me?"

"Well you didn't think I was stupid enough to camp out alone? I am a Princess after all, some mad man could snatch me. Although if some crazed lunatic was to come our way I don't know how well you would fair as a defence but you are better then nothing."

Derek stood speechless watching as she continued to walk passed him.

"Oh and if you see Bromley, tell him that he is camping with us also." she called from over her shoulder.

Dusk had long since fallen and now over head was blanketed in an almost black cloudless sky. Odette had witnessed the best form of entertainment when she watched Derek, Bromley and Chamberlin all trying to put tents up and the three looked like inexperienced children. She failed to mention that she had gone camping every spring since she was young but it was more fun to watch then help.

Eventually three tents were made around a small camp fire a few 100 yards away from the castle. Chamberlin had long gone and Bromley and Odette sat around the fire while Derek continued on about the Spirit of Bernadette.

"They say she was held prisoner here many, many years ago for committing treason against the kingdom." Derek began, his voice low for affect. He stood opposite Bromley and Odette who sat before him listening intently, he reached down for a blanket and flung it over his head and shoulders and began to limp around the fire.

"They say her crime was so heinous that the only punishment for it was death, but the king said that death was a punishment too kind and that she must suffer first. No one knows what happened to Bernadette but people say that her tortured cries could be heard late at night from the highest tower."

Derek jumped and squatted down between Odette and Bromley gesturing with his caped hand to look at the highest tower of his castle.

"People say…" he began whispering into both their ears. "If you listen, you can still hear her anguished cries as she roams these gardens seeking her revenge."

Odette could not help but strain her ears trying to listen for the anguished cry and looking around the now very dark gardens could not help but feel a small wave of fear wash over her. She looked at Derek who was still squatting between her and Bromley, the blanket still pulled over his head, held tightly under his chin. She then turned to Bromley who also had a blanket but it was not in an attempt to imitate a so called spirit and Odette noticed that his teeth were chattering.

"R-r-revenge?" Bromley stammered as he watched Derek jump up and limp back around the fire.

"Revenge." Derek confirmed darkly. "You see many say that Bernadette was innocent but her soul has spent years being trapped on this land that it was grown bitter and black with hatred, now she searches for innocent souls to feed off." Derek crept around the outside of the tents, Odette and Bromley struggling to see him through the brightness of the fire.

"They say that she seeks to do the same cruel things that were done to her in her last days of living." Derek sounded now from behind the pair. Odette swung her head around to try and see him but Derek was hiding. Despite herself Odette pulled her blanket around her shoulders another small pang of fear sitting in her chest. She looked at Bromley who was literally quivering, his eyes darting around dramatically around looking for his friend.

"AHH!"

Odette jumped, a small squeal of surprise escaping her mouth and Bromley fell backwards with fear as Derek jumped put from behind a tent, his blanket now tied around his neck like a cape. He immediately started laughing at the pairs reaction dropping himself back down to the ground opposite them by the fire. Odette scowled angrily shrugging her blanket tighter over her shoulders trying to ignore the pounding in her chest. Looking back over at Bromley she could only assume the poor creature had passed out for she doubted any human being could fall asleep that quickly. She heard Derek laugh again and turning back to him let out a grunt of frustration.

"You did that on purpose" she hissed referring to Bromley's limp body. Derek shrugged resting back on his hands looking up to the clear night sky.

"Should we move him?" Odette asked poking Bromley's leg lightly with her foot.

"Nah, otherwise he will just keep passing out until he gets over the initial shock of me making him jump." Derek said imitation Bromley's collapse and Odette laughed leaning over their fallen friend.

"Well I should at least cover the poor boy up other wise he might get cold." she said quietly pulling Bromley's blanket over his rounded body and Derek smiled at Odette's small act of kindness. Once she was satisfied that Bromley was covered she sat straight crossing her legs, hugging her blanket around her shoulders and looking at Derek who was casually laying on his side on the grass. The two sat in silence for a short while before Odette spoke first.

"Do you really believe in all that?"

"In all of what?" Derek asked. He had found a small twig on the ground and started poking the fire.

"About Bernadette?"

"Of course, I have seen her after all" Derek joked, his voice changing slightly to imitate a ghostly wail.

"Stop making fun, seriously." she scolded nervously pulling grass from the ground and throwing it into the fire.

"Are you afraid Princess?" he joked.

"Of course not" she lied.

"Well don't worry princess if anything happens, Brom's tent is next to yours, I am sure he will protect you." Derek laughed.

"You are so immature" Odette scolded crossing her arms over her chest. She stood to her feet shaking the grass off of her skirts. "I am going to sleep, lets just get this night over with." she huffed before turning and climbing into her tent.

"Good night Derek" she said as she went down onto her knees in the opening of her tent and she saw Derek wave from across the fire.

"Good night Odette, don't let Bernadette bite." he said with a wicked grin and Odette swallowed as she pulled the opening of her tent closed and began changing into her night wear.

…..

A few hours had passed, the fire had burnt out and was now nothing but a pile of charred logs letting off smoke into the night. Bromley was still where he had passed out and Derek was asleep on his back on the grass, his arms folded out behind his head. Some where in the distance a bush was russled and a twig snapped. Derek's ear twitched, his senses automatically on alert as he was sleeping outside, and even though his eyes did not open, his body had unconsciously registered the noise around him. Silence continued for several moments before more russling continued from behind his tent. Derek opened his eyes and sat up looking around the gardens. His vision quickly adjusted to the dark but he could see nothing and the russling had seemed to stop. Derek would have put it down to the wind but there was no breeze tonight. His ears twitched again at the sound of a loud thud and some footsteps. Derek looked around again, seeing Brom was still passed out from before it decided that some one was messing with him.

"Odette, stop fooling around!" he called in the direction of where he thought he heard the footsteps. "Its not very smart for you to go wondering around by yourself at this time of night." he waited for a response but heard nothing until a spine crawling wail reached his ears and Derek stood to his feet.

"Odette!" he called out in frustration, furious that he may have felt a little bit afraid. The gardens were dark, the early mornings mist had started to settle a few inches from the ground and the castle in the distance stood in darkness. Another ghostly wail reached his ears and Derek's breath caught in his throat. He trudged over to Odette's tent pulling it open and his eyes bulged at what he saw. She was there asleep. He turned to Bromley and gave him a nudge with his foot to see if he was truly asleep which was quickly confirmed. Another wail sounded in the background and Derek leapt into Odette's tent ungracefully landing on the Princess' legs.

"Ow!" she cried in surprise waking up instantly pulling herself to sit up. Derek gently smacked a hand over her mouth, another hand on her shoulder and he pulled himself close to whisper in her ear.

"Do not make a sound" he whispered, his hand still over her mouth. Odette breathed out a growl of frustration licking his palm which was retracted rather quickly.

"Derek what are you -"

"Shhh" he cut her off instantly wiping his palm on the back on his trousers.

"Whats going on?" she whispered gathering her blankets up to cover herself feeling rather aware that she was only in a white cotton night gown. Before Derek could respond another ghostly cry echoed through the grounds and Odette gasped, her body freezing.

"What was that?" she asked in a high pitched whisper, shuffling closer to Derek who shrugged in response, his eyes glued to the entrance of Odette's tent.

"Bernadette?"

"Don't be ridiculous I just made all that up." Derek stammered pulling himself onto his hands and knees and crawling to the entrance to the tent.

"Where are you going?" Odette called pulling the blankets under her chin ready to cover her eyes. Derek pulled back the tent entrance slowly peeking out into the gardens he listened carefully unconsciously holding his breath.

"Derek" Odette called in a whisper.

"Shhh, I think I can hear something." he whispered straining his ears.

"Derek!" Odette hissed kicking him. Derek swung around angrily.

"What!" he barked out a little louder then he meant to. Odette hadn't moved, her knees were pulled up to her chest, clutching her blankets over her mouth she gestured to the side of the tent. Derek followed her gaze and his eyes widened in fear, parallel to Odette a shadow was cast on the tent wall. Derek leapt back beside her, an arm looping around her shoulders protectively. Despite herself Odette lent in as close as she could, her fear so great she didn't even care that Derek had his arm around her. A pained groan sounded loud and clear from outside and they could hear heavy footsteps as they watched the shadow move closer to the front of their tent. Derek's grip on Odette tightened as he struggled to contain his fear, feeling Odette grip his tunic tighter.

"Oh my goodness" she whispered clenching her eyes tightly shut, burying herself into Derek's side. Derek could not say anything, all he could do was watch the distorted shadow limp down the length of their tent and a small thought was cast about Bromley, he would surely perish at the hands of what ever was out there. However Derek watched the shadow drag itself around to their camp site and pause just outside the front of Odette tent. Odette raised her head and looked out letting out a gasp in fear turning her face back into Derek's side immediately.

"Derek what is it?" she whispered her voice quivering. Derek shook his head silently holding her tighter to him.

"Im so afraid" she whimpered onto his shoulder gritting her teeth in an attempt to contain her fearful whimpering. Derek shushed her as he continued to watch the shadow stand still before the entrance to the tent, he bit his lips when a loud groan escaped from the mystery being and Odette let out a small cry shuffling, if possible, even closer to Derek.

"Derek." she let out opening her eyes to see the shadow begin to move. The pair held their breath as, with wide eyes, they watched as the shadow bent down, an arm stretching out toward the opening of the tent. The teens sat frozen clutching each other unable to look away as they watched the material of the tent crinkle and slowly began to be pulled back.

"Oh Jesus!" Odette cursed throwing her blanket over her head. Derek released her long enough to follow suit almost banging heads in the process.

"Odette if this is it, I just want to say im sorry I have been such ass this summer."

"It doesn't matter now anyway we are going to die!" she let out in a shaky whisper. "But I am sorry too"

Another uncomfortable groan sounded from outside the tent and Odette flung herself on Derek unable to control her fear who in return gripped her back. They closed their eyes and braced themselves certain that the foul creature was defiantly in their tent and about to kill them.

"What are you two doing?"

From underneath the blanket Derek and Odette looked at each other unsure of what they had just heard exhaling the breath they hadn't noticed they were holding before slowly pulling the blanket off of their faces.

"Rogers?" Odette exclaimed a wave of relief washing over her as she released her grip on Derek and kicked the blanket off. Derek slowly removed his arm from around Odette's shoulders and shuffled to sit up properly, rubbing his eyes to make sure that his eyes were not playing tricks. Sure enough Rogers was there, in the entrance way of Odette's tent, bent over awkwardly, peering in at them.

"Thank god, we thought you were a, ow!" Odette was cut off by a swift pinch to the upper arm from Derek.

"A what?" Rogers asked slowly and ungraciously falling to his knees and sitting in the opening of the tent.

"What on earth was that ungodly sound you were making?" Derek asked changing the subject. "And what are you doing out here?"

"Well, your mother sent me out here, she woke me up to check that the three of you were still alive. This awful humidity this time of the morning sets off the arthritis in my back." He said letting out another pained groan. Odette laughed offering Rogers a blanket, she crawled forward and wrapped it around his lower back.

"Why were you sneaking around for ages then?" Derek asked, his embarrassment from being so afraid turning rather quickly into anger.

"I wasn't sneaking around, its awfully difficult to see in the dark, I fell over twice getting here. Your mother didn't tell me where exactly you camped and these gardens are rather large." Rogers stated giving Odette a thankful squeeze of the shoulder. She laughed sitting down next to the older man and looking at Derek, able to see the embarrassment on his face but she couldn't help but chuckle.

"You nearly scared us half to death." Odette laughed.

"So what were you two doing when I got here?" Rogers asked with a raised eyebrow.

"Derek was protecting me because of that heinous noise you were making, we were prepared for a great beast." Odette exclaimed still reeling from her relief.

"And hiding under a blanket is a good way to do that?" Rogers asked looking up at Derek who shrugged wordlessly. The young prince looked down at his knees, fingering the material of his tunic, the sound of Odette's musical laughter filling the small space.

"It doesn't matter any way now, we are fine, Bromley I think is fine so thank you very much for your concern." Derek shot defensively eyeing his betrothed and advisor. Odette stopped giggling, casting a smile at Rogers before crawling back toward Derek, placing a gentle hand on his shoulder. She sat on her knees directly opposite him, bringing him to look at her. She couldn't help but smile at his expression of embarrassment and gave his shoulder a light squeeze.

"Thank you for protecting me." she whispered with a light laugh. Derek glanced over her shoulder at Roger's who was eyeing them suspiciously. Derek rolled his eyes letting out a sigh before turning his gaze back to the young blonde in front of him. Even in the dark her blue eyes sparkled as she smiled sheepishly also feeling slightly embarrassed. They sat there looking at each other for a moment before Derek broke out into a light laughter.

Rogers sat behind the pair, an eyebrow raised in confusion as he watched the two teens laugh uncontrollably at nothing.

"Right well, if you two are ok then -"

"Roger's wait." Derek called as the elder man began to turn to make his way out of the tent. He turned to look at the two young royals to see Derek leaning forward on his hands and knees. Odette leant backward to allow Derek to crawl past her, bringing her blankets back up around her suddenly cold.

"Shall we go back to the castle with Rogers?" Derek asked seeing her shiver from the corner of his eye. He turned to look at Odette who had looked up from her blankets at his suggestion. She looked at him almost questionably, her brows creased. Was this a trick to see if she would chicken out of spending a night outside and would he ridicule her for it if she went inside. She wasn't fond of spending the night alfresco and she really did want the comfort of a proper mattress underneath her.

Derek seemed to catch on to her self battle and motioned for Rogers to wait outside. Once the material of the tent entrance swung closed Derek shuffled towards Odette sitting in front of her. She avoided his gaze suddenly really aware of how close he was to her. She looked down towards Derek's knees which were pressed against hers and bit her lower lips. Derek followed her gaze and swallowed nudging himself back slightly.

"Odette." he whispered leaning forward slightly. She looked up to meet his eye, another cold shiver running down her back. "I want to go back to the castle." he told her, his voice so quiet Odette found herself straining her ears to hear it.

"Do you?" she whispered back not convinced. Derek smiled at the cynical look on her face and reached forward to pull her blanket up over her shoulders.

"Yes I do." he confirmed letting his hand rest on her shoulder. Odette thought for a moment, her body tensing slightly from his touch. She knew that he probably couldn't care if he stayed in or out and that he was probably trying to make her feel better. Thinking for a moment she was about to shot back a choragus, witty answer when she felt something brush her cheek. Looking up she noticed Derek's hand lightly caressing her cheek bone. Holding her breath she met his eye, unable to recognise the look he displayed on his face. No one had ever looked at her like that before, she wasn't sure how to describe it. Her cheek was burning from his fingers lightly brushing against her skin. His touch was so light against her skin she seemed almost afraid to move. Derek held her eye contact, he knew he had grown up despising this girl but something had happened over the last year. She was no longer a boyish, clingy brat, but a beautiful, independent young woman and for a single moment he was not afraid to let down his front. He had not hated her at all this summer. She had proven to be challenging, funny and if he was honest quite fascinating. He had sworn to keep up the front of hating her but some how he found himself enticed by Odette's beauty and that she hadn't been cruel to him for being afraid earlier.

"Ok" she breathed leaning back slightly, looking him hard in the face. Derek's hand traced down her cheek bone and her jaw line, cupping her cheek.

"Only if you're sure" she whispered, her heart leaping at the feel of Derek's thumb stroking her face. Derek nodded in response finding himself leaning forward slowly. Odette looked at him, her eyes wide with confusion and truth be told he wasn't sure why he was doing this either. He revelled in how soft her skin felt under his hand and she didn't flinch when he traced his thumb lightly over her lips. He wondered what it would be like to kiss them and before he knew it, he was leaning in. Their faces drew dangerously closer together, Odette frozen in her place, her heart beating wildly in her chest.

"Yes…I am" Derek whispered before closing the gap between them. Odette wasn't sure what she expected her first kiss to be like but already one thing was out the window. For one she never would have guessed that it would be with Derek but now in the moment as his lips gently pressed against hers a strangely pleasant sensation washed over her and she found herself leaning forward cautiously into the kiss. With Derek's hand still trailing light circles down her jaw tingles were shooting up her body causing goose bumps to form all over. Derek felt Odette lean in and obliged as much as he knew how. He had never kissed any one before and was slightly lost on how to react. His hands seemed to have taken a life of their own, one tangling itself into Odette's thick mass of blonde hair and the other finding itself as the small of her back.

Suddenly the pair were interrupted by the same agonised, ghastly wail that they had been so afraid of before. Despite herself Odette jumped with a gasp of hearing the noise, jolting her and Derek apart. Silence rang in both their ears as they sat there and looked at each other waiting for a reaction. Derek was the first as he broke out into laughter craning his neck around to see the shadow of his advisor cast on the wall of the tent. Odette laughed nervously tucking her hair behind her ear unsure of what to say.

"Come on Odette." Derek said still laughing. He reached out and touched her flushed cheeks amazed how her face had coloured at his touch. He laughed and Odette batted his hand away bringing her own palm up to feel her heated cheeks. Derek gestured to her to follow him out and the pair crawled towards the opening of the tent.

Rogers was stood poking Bromley with his foot when the two teens climbed out of the small tent. Derek smiled innocently, helping Odette to her feet. She shrugged her blanket closer to her chin, the night air feeling cold against her hot face. Roger's coughed out a small laugh seeing the princess in a flushed state and raised a knowing eyebrow.

"We are going to walk back with you Rogers." Derek announced before looking down at his still sleeping friend.

"Should we wake him?" Odette asked standing beside Derek trying to shield herself from the cold breeze.

"No, let the hounds have him." Rogers suggested stepping over the charred logs towards the castle. Derek chuckled walking forward and giving his friend a nudge.

"Brom" Derek called leaning down and shaking him lightly by the shoulders. His friend responded with a loud snort before rolling onto his side, pillowing his face with his hands. Odette covered her mouth, hiding her smile.

"Its alright Princess you can laugh freely at such a pitiful excuse for a human being."

"Oh Rogers" Odette playfully scolded walking over to the elder man. "He's not so bad." she said now standing beside him.

"Oh really? And what has changed your tune Princess?" Rogers began, flashing her a wide smile as he gestured towards her still flushed cheeks. Odette felt her face burn further with embarrassment as she turned away to look at Derek who was still trying to wake Bromley.

"No need to feel embarrassed Odette, after all he is your betrothed." Rogers assured and Odette swallowed. She watched as Derek half dragged, half carried his chubby friend across the gross before grabbing his water satchel and emptying the contents onto Bromley's face. Bromley was quick to wake up, spluttering and shaking his face of excess water.

"Wha…what, whats going on?" Bromley coughed rubbing his eyes with his fists. He looked up from where he was sat to see Derek bending over him, a huge smile on his face.

"Come on Brom" he said lightly offering his friend a hand. Bromley took it silently allowing Derek to pull him to his feet where he saw Odette and Rogers standing behind. His gauntless look was quickly replaced with a mocking smile and he playfull nudged Derek in the stomach.

"Oh I see, was the princess too afraid to stay out the whole night?" Bromley laughed with a wink towards Derek. Derek forced a smile casting a look back towards Odette who let out a small laugh.

"Actually -" she began but was quickly cut off.

"Yeah, had to get Rogers to escort us back" Derek laughed nervously looking back towards his friend, rubbing the back of his neck.

"Girls!" Bromley barked out with a chuckle patting Derek on the back before taking a step over the charred logs.

"Yeah, tell me about it." Derek forced out a laugh, casting a guilty look towards Odette who was eyeing him angrily.

She felt a lump form in her throat as her hands balled into fists in anger when Derek refused to hold her gaze. What had just happened? How had this boy managed to make her feel so wonderful and then in a split second so, so… She didn't even know a good enough word for it. Shrugging her blanket back under her chin she brought a hand up to wipe away a rogue tear that had managed to escape before turning to the direction of the castle. Derek and Bromley could be seen ahead, their silhouettes beginning to blur in the morning fog.

"No worries Odette." Rogers sounded from beside her. She looked up at the elder man, meeting his eye and offered a shrug before making her way back towards the castle.

"He will grow up soon enough" The advisor added as he skipped awkwardly to catch up to the princess. Odette let out a frustrated growl.

"I don't care what he does." she shot blankly and Rogers shook his head, resisting the temptation to smack himself in despair. What ever had happened between the two in the tent had quickly been forgotten about and he had no doubt in his mind that with the princess this angry there would be plenty more arguments to come over the summer.

"Very well Odette. Just try to go easy on him."


End

A/N: Sorry for the delay in this, I wasn't too sure where I wanted it to go but I hope you liked it!

REVIEW, REVIEW PLEASE! IM BEARLY LIVING AS IT IS!