Wow! I finally finished this chapter! I hope everyone had a great Valentine's Day! Mine wasn't all too sweet at school. Instead, the teachers gave us quizzes or tests on that day saying it was our 'Valentine Gift'. Ugh, the beauty of school. -_- Onto the story!
Oh, and I almost forget (how could I?) Thank you for those you favorited this story, or me and left reviews. It means a lot and it kept me going. So thank you! You are all so wonderful! Now I understand how authors feel when they receive reviews...
Chapter 4- How do you know?
Sorren didn't know what to think. His mind had completely blanked out when Meadow had thanked him with his real name. After the initial shock, an intense wave of confusion washed over him, causing the most dominant question: 'How does she know my name?' cloud his thoughts. It soon battered his head until it ached. No other animals besides his close friends, Fallow, Rocky, and Bugsy knew of his real name.
"Sorren!" The Prince snapped out of his confusion, only for a moment to look over at the source of the voice. His turned his head sharply to the caller, surprising them.
"Who is it?" Sorren asked rather subtly.
Fallow stopped in his tracks and blinked at his friend.
"You don't recognize my voice? It's me, Fallow!" The light colored buck said, a slight frown on his lips when he noticed how tense Sorren was. He knew from experience that his friend was normal calm.
The darker colored buck sighed and shook his head, wondering what had gone wrong with his mind. Right, it had all started with that doe, Meadow. He hoped he wouldn't meet her again. It seemed that she only caused his mind to go into overdrive or something.
"I'm sorry, I just…I don't know what to say," Sorren replied, exhaling sharply through his nose. He finally turned his whole body to look at a worried looking Fallow and then forced his muscles to relax.
"Was it your father again?" His friend asked, unabashed.
"No, I'm just….confused, and surprised. Look, I'm over it now," Sorren grumbled, laying his ears down. His friend only tilted his head questioningly and narrowed his eyes.
"You still look confused to me," The stubborn buck commented. Sorren only snorted and mildly glared at his friend, although it was mixed with irritation.
"I need to arrange my thoughts, excuse me," The Prince said as he slowly stepped to the side and moved in the opposite direction of where Mena and Meadow had went.
"Hey, if you want to talk, I'm here," Fallow yelled as he watched his friend's back become smaller. The orange buck could tell that something was irritating his normally calm friend, he just didn't know what.
Sorren stopped and then raised his head up and sighed, letting his ears flatten once again on his cranium before raising them towards Fallow as he turned his head around to face him.
"Very well," He sighed, feeling defeated as he trudged back up to a beaming Fallow.
"Ok, spill it out. It's ok for princes to have issues, even though I'm already aware of yours," The slightly younger buck joked, although he had his ears pricked towards his friend, waiting for him to speak.
Sorren grumbled at that but couldn't help crack a small smile. They always loved to mock each other, although Fallow did it more.
"It's….about this one deer-" Sorren began.
"Doe or buck?" Sorren felt himself tense a little. He had dreaded that question.
"The Prince has a crush on a doe! Finally!" Fallow whooped, leaping in place before he pranced around like a twitterpated buck.
Sorren felt himself go hot.
"No! It's not that!" He retorted in vain. Fallow wasn't listening though, he was now trying to sing a tune which sounded horrible enough that the birds nearby fluttered to other trees.
"Fallow! Please cease this nonsense and listen to me!" Sorren grumbled, feeling his irritation soaring up. His cheeks felt hot too and his ears were burning.
Fallow stopped abruptly and turned to face his friend with a questioning look.
"I do not have a crush on her. I just merely was confused as to how she knew my name," Sorren said in a deep voice, letting his words slip from his lips slowly as if Fallow was a fawn.
"You told her?" The light colored buck piped up.
"If I told her then why would I confused as to how she knew my name?" Sorren snorted. Ah, sometimes his friend wasn't always the brightest buck…..
Fallow shrugged his shoulders.
Sorren shook his head, trying to find the only answer. It was true, his close friends weren't the only animals who knew. A few birds or small animals may have caught his name but they mainly referred to him as 'Prince' and that was that.
"Did you meet her before?" Fallow asked, his voice cutting off Sorren's thoughts.
The darker buck lifted his head and opened his mouth to speak when he stopped himself. Did I meet her before? Suddenly, he remembered the time when he had discovered the secret forest glade. His secret place….It had not been entirely secret though because one other animal knew about it. The young female fawn.
"Sorren?" His friend murmured, coming closer to his friend who seemed to be deep in thought. He got close enough to poke the Prince with the point of his antlers gently on his shoulder.
Sorren cringed at the contact, as if he had heard the crows crying, warning the animals of Man's presence.
"Nothing. Maybe she just heard my name slip out when we were talking," The Prince suggested. Fallow frowned crookedly but then shrugged his shoulders.
"Ok, so secret admirer then? You think she's spying on us right now?" The light colored buck then let his narrowed green eyes trail around their surroundings as he jumped around as if they were on some secret mission.
"I don't think she would be spying on us," Sorren grumbled, although he couldn't help it when he let his eyes roam his surroundings.
"Eh, suit yourself. I'll let your spying admirer-"
"She's not an admirer!"
"Fine. I'll let your stalker spy on you while I go to my thicket and sleep."
Sorren snorted at the word 'stalker'. The name didn't suit the quiet young doe.
As Fallow turned to leave, he stopped and then turned back to face his friend.
"Say, do you know her name?" He asked curiously, unable to suppress a grin.
Sorren rolled his and sighed.
"Why does it matter?"
Fallow rose his dark brows.
"Why won't you tell me?" There was a long pause before Sorren sighed again.
"Meadow." The light colored buck let his brows rise even higher than before and he chuckled to himself. Then he swished his tail and vanished before Sorren could ask him what was so funny.
I'll ask him later. Night was slowly befalling them and soon the sun would melt into the horizon and vanish, letting the moon take over. The Prince didn't mind the stillness and beauty of the night, but most of his energy had been sapped when he had taken a detour to the meadow with Fallow.
Yawning, the buck shook his head, enjoying the slight extra weight of his antlers.
He'd get some rest tonight, and then he'd go overlook the meadow on the cliff where he had first seen his father. His father had always told him that the Prince looks over the meadow where most of the deer were in order to make sure all the animals were safe and content. He'd be doing that the next morning. What else could he do? Going to the meadow was out of the question for him.
Sorren awoke early as normal. The sun was just budding into the horizon and only a few birds were fluttering among the trees and chirping, getting ready to sing the morning song.
The Prince slid from his thicket and shook himself and yawned wide before he stretched his limbs, enjoying the feeling.
The cliff….That's where he was going today. After that though, he didn't know what to do. Maybe he'd just wander around the perimeter, to make sure all the animals were behaving.
Sorren sighed. He actually disliked going through those tasks. They were chores in the buck's eyes but he knew he couldn't let his father down and plus, he'd be the Great Prince soon. That meant he'd have a lot of responsibilities on top of his shoulders. Now was the time to practice.
Shaking his head and breathing in a few deep breaths of the cool morning air, the buck started off in the direction of the cliff. The trip was peaceful and Sorren's ears enjoyed every minute of it. The only sound though belonged to a few early risers. The scratching of a squirrel's claws against rough bark, the fluttering of the birds' wings. The soft muted sound of a rabbit leaping around.
"Sorren- er Prince!" A small voice called. The silence was ruined for now.
Sorren turned his head to the owner of the voice. His caramel eyes fell on a small rabbit with a tan pelt and a peach colored chest. His large black eyes were larger than most rabbits.
"Yes Bugsy?" Sorren asked, raising a brow at him. "You do realize that you do not need to call me 'Prince'. We're friends anyway."
"Ah, yes, but I was just trying to be….formal." The rabbit held his furry front paws behind his back and rubbed the ground with his other hind foot. As he stood upright, just barely coming up to Sorren's knees.
"I'd rather you be colloquial with me. I don't really like formalities with friends, it doesn't feel right," The buck huffed.
"Oh ok, sorry Sorren." Sorren raised both brows this time before sighing and shaking his head. Bugsy was always quick to apologize. It was nice of the small rabbit, but unneeded.
"Where are you going?" Bugsy inquired, vibrating his black nose more than usual.
"To the cliff where I will look over the meadow," He replied. Meadow….Sorren shook his head, causing his small friend to tilt his head.
"May I go with you? Rocky is being a grump again," He whined, frowning.
"Oh please oh please oh please!" The rabbit begged before launching himself at the buck's hooves before he could react. He grasped onto the first leg he caught onto and stuck onto it while repeating himself several times with 'Please! Please! Please!'
"Bugsy! Yes, you may come but please get off my leg!" Sorren groaned, raising his leg to try and shake the rabbit off in vain. Bugsy just dangled from it.
When Bugsy heard those words, he immediately pricked his ears and grinned and let go, plopping onto the floor.
"Yes!" The little mammal yipped as he darted ahead of Sorren who only shook his head in amusement before trying to practice his graceful walk that his father had tried teaching him when he was younger.
He was still getting a hang of it, but he'd often become distracted and his graceful pace would become choppy and then he'd give up and just walk on normally like any other deer.
"Come on slowpoke! Faster!" Bugsy called from ahead, bouncing ahead. Sorren couldn't understand that rabbit. At times he could be so colloquial like he was now, and other times he'd try to act so formal. Sorren liked his more carefree side though.
"I'm practicing my walk," he explained, forcing himself to keep a steady pace although the buck himself was slowly getting impatient with himself.
"Can't you practice later?" Bugsy whined, pouting.
Sorren shook his head.
"No, I must practice whenever I have the chance."
"Awwww!" Bugsy grumbled. Sorren shook his head, a smile on his lips. Bugsy hadn't grown up a bit.
When they finally reached the cliff, Bugsy was hopping all around and was glad they had made it although the rabbit had complained about Sorren's slow pace the whole entire time, even when they reached their destination.
"Ok, so what do you do here?" Bugsy asked, peering over the edge before squealing at how high they were and scrambling behind Sorren's legs.
"We observe," The buck answered peering down where Bugsy was. He could see a little fluff of tan shaking.
"That's boring!" Bugsy whined, forgetting about his fear and crossing his arms again, a habit of his.
"You don't need to stay." I find it boring myself, but I must do this, Sorren thought.
Bugsy gave out a long exaggerated sigh before pricking his ears towards the meadow and sniffing the air before his eyes fell upon small figures moving about in the meadow.
"Are those deer?" He asked, peering over, although he refrained from going close to the edge.
"Yes," Sorren replied.
"Well, at least you get to see something up here that's not so boring."
As they lapsed into silence, Sorren broke it, which was unusual for the two as Sorren wasn't always quite the talker.
"Bugsy, have you told my name to any other animals?"
Instantly, the rabbit turned around to face him and clasped his paws together behind his back and seemed to shrink a little and give him an innocent nervous smile.
"Any animals um…in particular?" He asked.
"Actually yes. Have you told any deer, does perhaps?" Sorren inquired, tilting his head at Bugsy's guilty behavior. This made the buck to believe that Bugsy had been the one to tell Meadow.
"Nope, no deer!" Bugsy promised, brightening up and shaking his head. Sorren furrowed his brows.
"Are you sure?" He asked, his tone serious.
"I swear on my mother's foot!" Bugsy replied defensively. Sorren kept his hard stare trained on the rabbit, and when Bugsy didn't budge or break down and start spilling out into a long apology, he knew that his friend was telling the truth.
Then how did she know?
"Why did you want to know?" Bugsy piped up, tilting his head.
"Nothing, just curious," Sorren said shaking his head. Now his mind was whirring again, enough to the point that he couldn't even concentrate on the deer frolicking in the meadow.
"I think I will go check out the falls," Sorren said, although he was planning to go to his secret area. That one beautiful forest glade.
"I'll come with you."
"No." It had come out much faster than usual and Sorren felt bad for it because it made Bugsy's beaming grin on his face fall.
"It will be boring for you anyways. I have to do that slow walk you don't like," The buck explained, hoping to dissuade the rabbit from coming along. It worked because Bugsy groaned at that.
"Please, tell me when you're going to walk normal again and I'll come with ya," He said as he got onto all fours and bounded off, leaving Sorren alone.
Happy and desperate to reach his secret area before he encountered any other distractions or obstacles, the Prince hurried over to his forest glade, completely ignoring his father's instruction on how to walk like a prince.
Any other distraction or obstacles seemed impossible up to that point but that idea instantly was shot.
The Prince collided into someone else. The animal he collided into wasn't a small rabbit either, it was a large animal, but smaller than him. The buck saw a blur and he felt gravity pull him down and before he knew it, he felt his side hit the ground and he blinked, dazed at what had just happened.
To his other side, he heard a soft groan, except it sounded more like it belonged to a female. Letting out a small groan himself, he hauled himself up onto all fours and then looked over to the animal he had crashed into.
"Meadow?" He asked before his conscious mind cold even register the proper words to say.
The quiet doe shook her head, as if she were having a headache and stared up at him with those familiar large brown eyes and she then pulled herself up.
"Hello," She greeted, curtly nodding her head to Sorren. The buck felt slightly bad that he hadn't helped her up. Besides, he had been technically the one to run into her.
"I, uh, I'm sorry for running into you," Sorren apologized, mentally kicking himself for stuttering. He thought he had gotten over that a long time ago.
"It's ok," She replied cheerily with a small grin. "Other animals do that a lot. I guess they don't know I'm there before it's too late," She added.
Sorren shook his head and furrowed his brows. She had indeed been quite silent. He didn't even know of her presence until he had run right into her, resulting both parties to fall onto the ground.
"Still, I think an apology is in order," He insisted.
She smiled sweetly again and shook her head. "Are you all right?" She asked. Sorren was surprised at her query. She seemed more concerned about him when she seemed to have had the worst of the fall.
"Yes, I'm fine thanks," He answered. "Are you ok?"
"Yes, I'm fine too thank you."
Silence rested upon both of them and Sorren felt himself feel uneasy. He didn't know what to say until he looked at their surroundings. They were just at the entrance of his secret glade.
"What brought you here?" He suddenly asked, seemingly cutting off whatever Meadow was thinking at the time.
"What do you mean?" She asked.
"Uh, um….did you come here for a special reason?" He asked, hoping he hadn't offended her in any way.
"Yes, why?" She answered tilting her head.
"Just curious." Sorren watched as one of Meadow's own sleek black eyebrows rose a little, making her seem all the more charming. What?
"Why are you here Prince?" She asked curiously.
"To be alone and rearrange my thoughts," He replied back. In his mind, Sorren wondered why she was now being formal with him when she had last used his name before.
The buck took a deep breath and when Meadow turned to leave he instantly shot out her name, causing the doe to look over her shoulder.
"Wait, how do you know my name?" He asked. That question had hammered his head since the day she had spoken his real name.
Meadow only blinked and smiled. The doe seemed to be about to give him the answer when instead she only gave him another statement that would cause the Prince unrest.
"Try to think harder," She answered softly before she bounded off and vanished again into thin air.
Haha! Poor Sorren, the buck isn't going to get any sleep with so many questions! This chapter was longer than the last one, so I hope didn't bore you. And yes, I just had to add Bugsy into this chappy! You guys must be thinking, "Ugh! Sorren! It's sooo obvious!" Well, I'm gonna stretch it. Haha. I just don't like taking it too fast. Yes, evil me. :D