Happiness hit her like a bullet in the back

Struck from a great height by someone who should know better than that

1864

"Victoria! Victoria!"

She could hear her name being called by her nanny in the distance. Frantic and almost annoyed came nanny Cordelia's voice. Victoria had to stop herself from giggling, the old wretched bat had just discovered now that she had gone missing? Pity. Victoria held her back against the tree she was up against, she tried to strategize which move to make next. She knew for sure she wasn't going to return to her awful nanny, the woman wouldn't let her go out and breathe, not once today, and Victoria couldn't be more upset especially since she had finished her studies for the day early.

Quietly and quickly Victoria ran out deeper into the woods, trying not to trip over her ridiculously large gown. When she felt she was farther away from nanny Cordelia's voice she slowed her pace, coming up to a small creek. She made her way down to the water. Slowly she knelt near the tip of the water, and if she tried squinting her eyes enough she could make out the fishes swimming around in the center of creek. Victoria giggled then, letting out a laugh at how cute she thought the fish were; she wanted to be able to touch one. Carefully she moved into the water, instantly drenching her feet and lower gown, she couldn't care less though, what's the point of play if you couldn't get a little dirty once in a while? She placed her fingers in the water, seeing the fish simply swim around her extended fingers, her eyes grew wide in wild delight. Oblivious to the world around her Victoria never knew of the snake that slithered near her. Finally taking a good look at her surroundings Victoria heard it then, the sound of the snake approaching. She turned sharply in the water her eyes coming eye to eye with the serpent. Her voice choked in her throat unable to make a sound from the sudden fear that had struck inside her. As the snake was about to make its strike something, rather, someone for that matter came charging out of the woods with a blade at hand, in an instant Victoria was out of the water and the snake no longer had its head. Breathing hard she looked up at the boy who had just saved her from a nasty bite.

"Thank." deep breath, "You."

Victoria shook, she looked at the boy then, his eyes were to the ground and his hair was in his face. She noticed then that his clothes were worn and raggedy. He also held a weird atmosphere around him. Who on earth was he? "I said thank you." Victoria said. And then slowly the boy lifted his head and looked at her. Eye to eye they were then, "You're welcome." He said.

Victoria stared at him and he stared back, something deep in her heart started to move, an unknown feeling grasped around her stomach as if something were fluttering around in there. "What's your name?" Victoria asked a small smile forming on her lips. "Beckett." He said.

At this Victoria frowned, "What a strange name." she said, and immediately regretted it.

Here this boy had just saved her and what does she do? Insult his name. But Beckett didn't seem offended; his smile was almost amused, "Strange? You're one to talk, why are you out here all by yourself, sticking your finger in dirty creek waters? Who are you?" He asked, taking small steps toward her. Victoria glared at him, who was he to judge her? It was none of his business why she was out here to begin with.

"My name is Miss Victoria Marie Vega." She stated fully. Beckett didn't even blink, as if her name had no affect whatsoever which was appalling seeing as how Victoria's family basically owned this small town of Greywood. "Well Miss Victoria Marie Vega, it was nice meeting you." And with that he tipped his head and turned away. Victoria panicked quickly; she didn't want to be left alone. "Wait," she said, "Where are you going?" She asked stalking after him. "Does it matter?" he asked. She rolled her eyes, "Of course it does." Victoria said.

"No, it doesn't, I just want to walk." He said. Victoria gripped her dress up and tried to keep up with him, "What do you mean it doesn't matter where you're going? That's ridiculous not to know where you'll end up!" she continued. Beckett stopped then and turned to her, his eyes piercing, judging, edgy to the point that made her look to the ground. "Tell me Miss Victoria Marie Vega, when you wondered into these woods did you have a plan? Or was getting bitten by a snake apart of your agenda for the day?" he asked. Victoria shrugged, hating to be proven wrong, she didn't have the intentions to be out here in the woods. It just happened. Later she had plans to have tea with the other ladies of Greywood and surely she should be heading back now. If only her heart didn't desire to be reckless. Straightening up, she quickly smoothed out her dress before folding her arms across her chest. "Okay," she mumbled, "Though I have no idea where you're heading, let me come with you?" she asked.

Beckett smiled at her, "You don't know me, aren't you scared? I could be dangerous for all you know." He said to her, a smirk playing at the edge of his lips. "Scared? Hardly, dangerous? I don't buy it." Victoria said. If he wanted to harm her, he wouldn't have saved her from that horrible snake. She stood staring at him, daring him to prove her wrong. And then without warning he stepped closer to her, completely shooting her personal space to hell. His face was so close she could feel his breath on her cheek; she stood there frozen in his gaze, not moving an inch. Not even her nanny invaded her personal space this badly. And yet Victoria didn't move away, she kept still, scared if she moved even an inch she'd lose and even miss his aroma around her. His eyes were dark and menacing as if he were concentrating hard on her, maybe even looking through her, and peering without permission into her soul. She breathed deeply. And that's when he took a step back.

"Okay Victoria, if you don't want to head back I'll show you something instead." and then without another glance back at her, he took her hand and raced forward, dragging Victoria with him. "Hey!" she yelped.

Of all the things she thought she would be doing today, following some strange boy across the woods was not at all what she had planned. But here she was being dragged along the woods. Finally after all the running, Beckett had slowed his pace. They had stopped in front of a large willow tree. Victoria was for sure breathless, holding her stomach she looked up at him confused. "Where did you take me?" she asked. He looked at her, offering his hand. Without second thoughts she took hold of it, following him into the tree, passing aside the leaves. She looked around and saw blooming roses of every kind springing from the ground, right around the trunk of the tree. She was breathless by the beauty of it all.

"Oh my god." She whispered.

"Do you like it?" he asked.

"Did you- did you plant these here?" she asked. Beckett looked around and nodded, "My sister and I. We found this tree a few years back, and then after my mother had passed away we decided to plant roses in her memory." He said. Victoria looked at him, a sadness pecking her heart. "Sorry about your mother." She said. "No it's fine, feels like forever ago." Beckett said taking a seat on the floor. Victoria didn't know why, but she suddenly felt the urge be closer to him, walking over to him, she slowly sat down in front of him, being careful not to crush any of the roses around her. "Tell me more about yourself." Victoria said. "If we're going to be friends, we should at least know things about one another, don't you think?" she smiled. Beckett laid back across the roses, plucking one he easily held the flower to himself, "You want to be my friend?" he asked. Victoria nodded, "Well we can't stay strangers now can we? After all you did save me."

"Okay, let's be friends." He said as cool as any. Victoria plucked a rose herself and twisted it across her fingers. "So… go on. Tell me about yourself."

"Sad to say my life isn't very fascinating, let's start with you. Tell me about yourself Miss Victoria Marie Vega." He said in a very teasing way, Victoria rolled her eyes. "Very well then, I'll start, what do you want to know?" And that's how it all started. Beckett didn't waste time asking Victoria, some personal and very strange, like if she ever lurked in the woods before at night, or what her favorite star was in the sky. Victoria has never in her life wandered into the woods alone, let alone at night nor did she ever intend to. She didn't know anyone could possibly have a favorite star, seeing how they all pretty much looked the same. She did however tell him she was an only child, she ran away from her nanny today, her parents don't pay much attention to her existence, and the only time she truly enjoys herself was around Caterina Valentine and Jadelyn West, her nearest and dearest friends.

"Jadelyn West?" Beckett asked her, his eyebrows knitting together in confusion.

"Yes, she's a good friend of mine." Victoria smiled, seeing the confusion on his face she quickly asked, "Do you know her?" she asked.

"Very well, actually." He said.

And then before Victoria could mummer another word, she heard a familiar stretch from behind her. Nanny Cordelia had finally found her.

Storming in pass the roses her nanny glared at her, "There you are you little twit! What on earth do you think you're doing? Do you have any idea how worried I was?" Cordelia yelled at her. Victoria quickly got on her feet, as well as Beckett. "Worried for my life? Or worried that mama and papa will fire you for losing me?" Victoria asked. Cordelia yanked Victoria's arm forward, "That's enough little one, you're heading with me back home, now!" Victoria yanked her arm back. "I don't want to go."

"You don't have a say."

"I want to stay here with Beckett." Victoria said, folding her arms.

"Who?" Cordelia asked, her eyes looking around the space.

"Beckett- He-", When Victoria looked around she noticed that he was now gone, the only ones left in the tree were her and Cordelia. "That's the strangest thing, he was just here!" Victoria said in confusion, had he really gone that fast without neither of their notice, perhaps he had snuck away. Though nanny Cordelia just continued to look at her as if she only found Victoria alone, and obviously the time spent alone made Victoria go a little insane.

"I swear he was just-"

"That's enough young lady, we have to go get you ready for tea. Come now." Cordelia said, pulling Victoria away.

Victoria looked back at the willow tree one last time.

Surely Beckett was real, right?

(x)

Victoria stared at herself in the mirror; she was freshly bathed and dressed. Her hair was in curls and she looked beautiful, truly, but she couldn't help but feel uncomfortable. She felt tired as if she had the longest day of her life and she wanted to do and she didn't know why, head back into the woods to try and find Beckett, all that time she had spent only talking about herself, and desperately she wanted to know about him. If she'd ever see him again, she doubted.

"Well aren't you the most beautiful thing I have eva seen in my hole' life." Jadelyn said as she looked on at Victoria from her bedroom door. Victoria smiled as she whirled around to one her most trusted friends in the world. "Now you're just saying that." Victoria said smiling at her. "No I mean it, what a girl wouldn't do to have that face of yours." Jadelyn said coming up from behind Victoria, placing her arms around her waist and her head on the tip of Victoria's shoulder. Both girls stared at themselves in the mirror. They stayed silent for a while. "Now maybe I'm just hearin' things but I heard you gave that nasty nanny of yours a hard time this morning." Jadelyn said laughing. Victoria rolled her eyes, "Geez, did Caterina tell you that?" She asked.

"It might have slipped her tongue." Jadelyn smiled.

"Well it was nothing," Victoria said thinking back to the boy Beckett from the woods and then she remembered how awkward he got when she mentioned Jadelyn's name to him. Quickly Victoria turned to Jadelyn.

"Actually, I wanted to ask you something." Victoria said.

Jadelyn shrugged, "Ask away."

And then just as quickly as she was about ask her question the maid Lidia interrupted them. "Miss Jadelyn, Miss Victoria, tea is now ready. If you will please follow me." Lidia said.

"I suppose we'll talk later." Victoria said.

(x)

The heat in Greywood California was simply devastating, Victoria sat down among her friends Jadelyn and Caterina, all of them tired and utterly exhausted.

"I could kill the man who created these gowns, what an inconvenience they are." Jadelyn hissed in annoyance.

"I feel the same, my body can't contain this much heat, I might just pass out." Caterina sighed, continuing to fan herself.

"Why don't we just lose the gowns and go naked." Jadelyn suggested. Both Caterina and Victoria locked eyes, their lips shimmering in laughter but eyes stern, as if they didn't know if Jadelyn was joking or not.

"Go naked? Can I join you ladies if you do?" A familiar voice rang, and Victoria's eyes shot open and her mouth dropped a little. Jadelyn quickly jumped out of the chair and into the arms of one Beckett himself. Victoria felt her mouth go dry.

"Beck? What are you doing here? Jadelyn asked in excitement pulling herself away from Beckett's arms. "I've missed you little one. Europe was wonderful but it's good to be back." Beckett said, his eyes passing over to Victoria whose cheeks flamed. So he does know Jadelyn, but how? Victoria thought to herself.

They heard a small cough come from Caterina and Jadelyn quickly turned to face her friends, "Oh how rude of me, Victoria, Caterina, I want you to meet a dear loved one of mine. This is my brother Beckett." Jadelyn said, a smile plastered on her lips.

Her... what?

Victoria stood as well as Caterina to shake hands with the boy.

"Hello Miss Victoria." Beck whispered to her, and Victoria gave him a mock smile.

"Hello Mr. Beckett, it's nice to meet you." Victoria said. And then they locked hands to shake, holding on a bit longer than necessary.


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