Hey there everyone :)
I know that this is kind of unexpected but after revceiving ideas and suggestions for another Oneshot to Richard and Sophie, I thought I make a sequel to my first Oneshot The Secret Base. My three-shot is not done yet and I will write another Oneshot as a conclusion, so be prepared for another Oneshot about Richard and Sophie. :) There might be a little Asbel/Cheria in this one and a little Hubert/Pascal in the last Oneshot.
Thanks to Sony Ninja for his many ideas. You were a great help :)
Now, I hope you enjoy it.
Your FMC :) (^-^)/
The sun was welcoming him when he exited the main entrance of the Barona castle. The guards bowed deeply when they caught sight of him, what he acquitted with a nod. The young man with long blond hair greeted a few villagers while touring through the city.
He gave them a warm smile and continued his journey while studying the few shops and a few stands on the market. It didn't take long till a crowd had gathered around him. A few of them wanted him to follow them to their shops or present him their daughters. It seemed as if Duke Dalen had informed the people of Barona that the young king was searching for a wife. Well not searching, more like hiding from the proposals. After Dalen had found Richard and Sophie in their secret base, the blond man knew that he could no longer hide there, so he simply left the castle. Sophie had returned home the next morning and Richard had made himself clear that Duke Dalen should not try jumping to conclusions. This time however he even had a valuable reason to quit the castle so early in the morning. It was one of the days that he would leave his office to take a look at his city and how the people were doing. But this was not the only reason he was glad to leave the castle for.
He had received an invitation from Dylan Paradine, president of Sratha, for a formal dinner in Yu Liberte. It had something to do with a celebration of peace between Stratha, Windor and Fendel. Richard knew that Chancellor Eigen would be there as well. As for Richard being the youngest, he knew that he would surely die of boredom eating dinner with the two elder men. Duke Dalen had urged him to search for a woman to accompany him to the event but Richard had declined. He knew that the duke had no bad intentions and that he wanted Richard to be happy, but the whole marriage-thing bothered Richard and he knew that he would not be able to hold those proposes off any longer.
Taking a deep breath he took in the salty air that came from the port. Standing there observing the city in the warm sunlight made his mood lighten up. He really was happy that he could help Windor and made up for his awful mistakes in the past. They respected him and that was already enough for Richard.
He saw a soldier coming towards him with a piece of paper.
"Your Highness? The mailman gave me this letter. It has the sign of the lord of Lhant."
Richard took the piece of paper to read through it.
Dear friend, Richard
Thanks for sending Sophie home and taking good care of her. It's really busy around here and we have a lot to take care of right now. She is trying to help, but feels left out very often. I don't really know what to do, but when I saw that you were able to lighten her mood up, I thought maybe she could spent some more time with you. I know you will protect her. So, if you don't have too much work with all the politics, maybe you could have an eye on Sophie for a few days?
That would be a great help to me and Cheria
Best wishes from Lhant
Asbel and Cheria Lhant
He did not know what to think of that message but he felt a feeling of joy going through him. He would love to take care of Sophie for a while; she was the only person right now who would not ask stupid questions about marriage or about his work. Everything was so simple and easy when he was with her. It felt as if she would be a key to his golden cage. Unconsciously he had begun to smile which made the soldier look slightly confused. Richard turned his attention to the young soldier who straightened up immediately.
"Tell Duke Dalen that I will be gone for a few days."
"Should I get more soldiers for your travel?"
The young king shook his long blond hair.
"That won't be necessary. I will first go to Lanth, there won't be any dangerous encounters and I am capable to take care of myself. You will all stay under the order of the Duke when I am away and I hope you will not bring shame to Windor."
"No, Your Majesty!"
The young man saluted but looked reluctant to let the king wander off without guards to protect him. Richard gave another nod before turning on his heels and making his way to a shop. He needed a few things for his travel. While crossing the streets of Barona, he could not help but smile while thinking about the news from Asbel. He was only a few streets away when he heard loud voices from the castle. The duke must have been informed that Richard had been gone.
I should hurry before Dalen catches me again!
Quickly running all his errands, he hid in a corner to disguise himself for his travel.
This would be a lot of fun.
The sun was nearly setting when he could finally make out the huge windmills of Lanth. Tugging at his collar, he stood a while on the hill to rest and catch his breath. The small village looked beautiful in the last rays of the sun. His eyes were mustering the scene as if they were searching for something or more somebody. He could not make out anybody from his distance and decided to stay here a little longer. Asbel did not expect him and Richard could only hope that his friend would not be angry that he was showing up without a note first. Hopefully Cheria would be there to calm her husband. After Sophie's stories about the last weeks at home, Richard could only hope that her parents had calmed down a little.
Sighing he took of his hood that had covered his head during his travel as not to draw attention. His golden locks were soon caught by the wind which was tugging at the strands. Taking a deep breath he was descending the small hill, to the entrance of the small village. A few people were stopping in their tracks to take a good look at him. They knew fully well who he was and there were a few bowing their head in a polite manner, which made him smile friendly. Taking a quick look around, he noticed that there were many flowers taking in the last sunrays before going to sleep. This must have been Sophie's doing. His heart begun to beat irregular in his ribcage only because of her name. He could already make out the Lanth-estate. The fountain glowed in an orange light and the sound was calming his nerves. Why was he so nervous anyway? Slowing his steps, he came to a halt in front of a person that was kneeling next to the flowers. She had long violet hair and was pouring water in the Sopherias that were dancing in the small rain.
In the reddish light of the fading sun, her hair was glowing like fire. Innocent violet eyes turned away from her work to the man, she did not have heard approaching. Instantly her eyes widened and brightened with the appearance of joy.
Without thinking he drew her to him in a warm hug. She was stiff like last time, but he could feel her relax slightly to his touch. Taking a deep breath from her scent he closed his eyes for a second. He had not noticed how much he had missed her. It had only been a few days since they had last seen each other but it felt as if they had been years apart. Reluctantly he took a step back and was immediately missing her warmth again.
"How are you, Sophie?"
His face was lit up with a warm smile. She nodded with a cheerful expression while nodding. Her hair was not in the famous pigtails but loose around her face and he was astonished how much older and more beautiful she looked with only a change of hairstyle.
"Yes, everything is fine. We did not know you were coming today. Did something happen?"
Her face showed concern, but he only shook his head.
"No, I just wanted to visit my closest friends and maybe have a talk with your father. Are they at home?"
Sophie took off the gloves she had been wearing while working with her flowers.
"Yes, Asbel is in his study room and Cheria is in the living room."
She gave him a sweet smile before opening the door and stepping in the mansion. She was a lot more cheerful and Richard asked himself what Asbel had been talking about in his letter. Sophie seemed happy and not depressed at all. Or was he not able to see that his friend was sad? It made his heart throb and he hurried after her, while pondering if he should ask her or not. The object of his thoughts had already knocked on Asbel's study room before leaving him with a wave.
Richard had been following Sophie with a thoughtful gaze when he heard the tired voice of his friend through the closed door. Hopefully he would not be much angry with Richard showing up so suddenly. Opening the door in a graceful manner, he stepped in the study room.
"Asbel, I hope you only greet me in such a sad manner, because otherwise you might not become very popular among your people."
The man in question instantly looked up from his paperwork as if was not sure if Richard was real or just an illusion produced by his tired brain.
"Richard? Is that you? What are you doing here? I was not expecting you! Man you should have told me sooner that you were coming here, now I did not have prepared anything."
Rounding his desk, the lord of Lhant gave him a friendly hug. Richard could only laugh at his reaction because he had already seen it coming, literally miles away.
"You have not changed, my friend. I will tell you about the reason of my travel, but not here."
Asbel let go of him and pointed at the door.
"Let's go in the living room. I think Cheria is there too. She will be happy to see you."
Richard nodded with a smile before following him. The living room was a cozy room with a fireplace, in which there was a nice fire burning and spending warmth. Not too far away the young king could make out Cheria sitting in an armchair knitting something. When the door opened upon their arrival, the young woman lifted her gaze to give them both a bright smile. She wanted to stand up to greet them but Asbel was instantly at her side.
"No, don't force yourself Cheria."
His wife only shook her head with an annoyed expression.
"Asbel, I am only in my second month and I think that giving Richard a hug would not hurt the baby."
The young man looked as if he was thinking that idea over, when the blond cut in before they would fight with each other. He stepped to her and gave her a gentle squeeze.
"Now, don't be too harsh with to him. You know that he is only overprotective and a little stupid."
Cheria laughed before settling back in her comfortable armchair. Now Richard was able to see what she had been working on. Leaning forward to examine her work, he could not help but smile. She had been knitting little socks for the baby. They were in a deep red and he could clearly see that Cheria had put a lot of effort and love into her work.
"They look beautiful Cheria."
The woman in front of him smiled shyly but nodded while examining the little pieces of clothing with a warm expression.
"Yes, they are."
The room fell in a comfortable silence when the door opened and Sophie came in with a few maids who brought coffee and snacks. Richard looked her way and maybe it was because of the warmth of the room or those little socks, but he thought how Sophie would look like knitting socks for a coming baby. His eyes had a distant look and it was only because of Asbel calling his name for a second time that he was able to snap out of his thoughts. It had been because of the warmth….or not?
Night had fallen and Richard had decided to stay instead of continuing his travel. Asbel had been more than happy to comply with his wish, as he didn't want his friend wandering in the darkness. Cheria had begun to prepare a guestroom for him, even though that her husband had already called five maids to do it instead. They had been fighting for a few seconds, before Richard decided he would do it himself and that they should get to bed too. Both had immediately begun to disagree with him and saying that they were the ones to do that job, but Richard had only lifted his voice.
"Get out and rest. That's an order for the both of you!"
Asbel and Cheria had hung their heads in defeat before retreating in their own room for the night, letting Richard sigh heavily. Sophie had been right after all. Shooking his head with a smile, he tried to prepare his bed, but was slightly taken aback how complicated that turned out to be. Usually he had maids doing this work and he had never felt it necessary to watch one of them do his bed.
This cannot be so complicated. I am a grown man and king of Windor for crying out loud, so where is that sheet supposed to be?
Sighing again he sat on his unprepared bed that looked more like a battlefield where he had obviously been defeated. Mustering the room in the dim light of the small lamp on the nightstand, he felt a little nostalgic. This was the room he had been staying when he had been 12 years old. It had not changed at all and he felt memories running through him. Here he had first met Asbel, Sophie, Hubert and Cheria. Standing up to go to the window he looked out in the darkness. With a click he opened the window and took a deep breath of the chilly night air. Resting on the windowsill he listened to the sounds of the night.
Tomorrow he would head to Yu Liberte for that dinner invitation. Sure, he could ask Asbel if he could use the shuttle, but it had already been a long time since he had last travelled. It would be a good diversion from his usual dull work in the palace and buy him some time to think a lot of things over. There were so many problems on his mind right now that he did not know where to begin. First there was the whole marriage-affair, than he had to appear on that dinner and last but not least there was an idea that had popped up in his mind while sitting in the comfortable living room.
Richard had sat together with his old friends like the old days. Cheria and Asbel had told him about the recent changes in Lhant while Sophie had sat there nodding occasionally or she had been eating the few cookies that a maid had brought them. It had been relaxing to talk like this again and he had been glad that he had decided to come here, if only to distract himself. The only thing that had bothered him was the fact that instead of speaking a lot, Sophie had remained quiet in the presence of her parents.
While listening only half-hearted to the stories Asbel that had been telling him, he had developed an idea. This idea would require the agreement of Asbel and Cheria, but they would not be against it, or so he hoped. Richard had witnessed how overprotective and annoying the young lord could get and maybe his idea would get Sophie to smile again. That was his goal.
A soft knock on his door made him look up. Who would be up so late beside the young king who had lost a fight against his own bed? Opening the wooden door he came face to face with the young woman he had been thinking about for so long.
He had to admit that he was surprised to see her in front of his room. Her hair was still loose and fell in long violet curls around her round face. After she had merged with the remains of the Little Queen she had become a beautiful young woman which made his heart race with every glance she gave him.
She wore a pink pajama and had a blanket around her shoulders, which made him rose an eyebrow.
"Can I come in?"
He would not have expected this but knowing Sophie, she had something on her mind and did not want to be alone. Opening his door a little wider, he gestured her to enter his room. Even though he was a little concerned what would happen if Cheria and Asbel would know about this, he had seen the sad look on Sophie's face. Something was bothering her and he would not be a good friend, if he would not listen to her and her problems. Maybe he was just making up excuses...maybe...
"So, what is wrong Sophie?"
Turning to the young woman who had made herself comfortable on his battlefield, he hoped that she would not mind that he was wearing am old pajama of Asbel, which was nothing more than a simple blue set. Man where did that come from? Since when Sophie was someone who gave a damn about how people looked?
"Will you leave tomorrow?"
Giving her a confused look he sat next to her while mustering the opposite wall. So, she had been sad all along.
"Well, I have to attend a dinner in Yu Liberte and so I have to go if I want to be there on time."
It was a rational reason but he knew that Sophie was never one that could understand such thoughts. She hugged her blanket closer to her body and her long hair was covering her face as if she wanted to hide herself from him. He could only imagine what she was looking like. Heaving a sigh, he closed his eyes for a second. He could not tell her about his idea yet because he would need Asbel's approval first. So he needed something different to cheer her up.
"Sophie, what is wrong?"
She looked up from her hands that were neatly in her lap.
"I couldn't sleep."
Richard had to suppress a smile when he saw her blush. It was not the answer he had hoped for but still, it was adorable.
Sophie gave him a puzzled expression but he only shook his head, as if to say that he would not explain things further. They sat both in a comfortable silence, when the violet-haired woman noticed the state the bed was in. Raising an eyebrow she looked at Richard who could only laugh sheepishly.
"What can I say, it looks easier than it is."
Sophie giggled quietly before gesturing him to stand up and wait until she was done. Richard followed her every move to understand how to do the whole thing and couldn't help but smile when she gave him a victorious smile afterwards.
"You are welcome, Richard."
Sitting on the made bed, he thought about something they could do. His expression brightened up with a plan.
"Sophie, did you ever have a sleepover?"
She cocked her head to a side with a curious look.
"Yes, normally it's a thing girls like to do, but I won't mind playing along if that is okay with you."
He could clearly see that he had her interest.
"What does one do on a sleepover?"
Richard put a hand on his chin while thinking.
"Well, I only know this from Cheria and Pascal, so I am not entirely sure what we could do, but I think eating sweets, telling stories while reading and talking resumes the idea. So what do you think? Maybe you might be able to sleep afterwards?"
Sophie nodded without a further thought and Richard asked her if they had the things they needed.
Minutes had passed until they sat fully prepared on Richards's bed, engulfed in blankets while eating snacks and drinking hot chocolate. He felt as if they were back at the secret base again. Although he had wanted to ask her why she was so sad all the time, he could not bring it up while watching her cheerful expression. So he told her a few stories from his childhood and Sophie told him about her work with her flowers and the letters she and her parents had received from her other friends. Minutes turned into hours as time flew by when the young king suddenly noticed how her eyelids begun to flutter. Putting her blanket around her he drew her closer to him until she was leaning against his shoulder.
"I see you are finally tired."
Sophie pouted although she was half asleep.
"No, I am not sleepy... Don't go..."
Richard was a little surprised by this but caressed her hair with a gentle smile. His voice was deep from all their talking.
"Go to sleep Sophie, I will not go away."
First she had opened her eyes a little but closed them when she saw the soft expression on his face. She was safe and felt protected from all the harm in the world. Whispering his name she fell soon asleep and left the young man alone with his thoughts. His brown eyes mustered the young woman that slept soundly next to him with such a peaceful expression, that he felt warmth engulfing his heart. He closed his eyes to concentrate on her warmth and her scent. Even though he wanted to sleep next to her, he knew that Cheria would be scared to death if she wouldn't find Sophie in her bed but in his room.
Taking her gently on his arms, he crossed the empty hallway and the steps to her room. He had no problems opening her door, because she was lighter than he had expected. With great care he put her in her bed and covered her shaking figure with her blanket. His fingers remained on her cheek for a few seconds while watching her sleeping form in the dim moonlight before leaning in and kissing her gently on the forehead.
"Sleep well, Sophie."
Her lips curled into a soft smile, as if she had heard. That was when he realized that the young woman in front of him was more than a friend. She was irreplaceable and everything he needed in his life. He remained at her bed for a few minutes to watch her sleep before returning to his own room, he had to catch up some sleep for his travel in a few hours.
So I hope that you liked the little Oneshot, I must admit that it's really a challenge to write something so innocent, but I enjoy it :)
I hope you stay tuned for the last Oneshot!
Thanks for giving this story a try.
Your FMC :) (^-^)/