Six Hours

Author's Note: Hello, this is another little one-shot I thought of. I love the Tiger's Curse Series and after I read the first book I wanted to write how I think Kelsey could've handled the scene in chapter twenty-three a little better, so she's a little OOC. You might even see a little reference to a simiar scene from Disney's Beauty and the Beast. No offence to Kells but it was pretty obvious she was being set up on a date. I've actually had this story plotted out for a while, but I'm only now getting around to writing it. Hope everyone likes it, so please R&R.

Disclaimer: All characters, title, and everything Tiger's Curse belongs to the author, Colleen Houck. I own nothing except the plotline for this story. I am borrowing scenes from the actual book, so please don't flame me for plagiarizing cause I'm not; I cited the information from the book so I'm not claiming it as my own.

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(Kelsey's POV)

[AN: This scene takes place with Kelsey in her hotel room after the maid hands her the dress and shoes from Mr. Kadam.]

"I took it, thanked her, and unzipped the garment bag to find a gorgeous dress inside. The fitted black velvet bodice had a sweetheart neckline, and the capped sleeves and skirt were made of a pearlescent plum dupioni silk. The dress's snug fit made me look curvier than I really was. It tapered down my hips and settled over the full plum, knee-length skirt. A belt, made of the same soft material as the skirt, was knotted on one side and pinned with a sparkling broach to emphasize my waist.

The dress was beautifully made, fully lined, and probably expensive. When I moved in the light, the material shimmered, reflecting several different shades of purple. I'd never worn something so lovely, except for the beautiful blue Indian dress I had back at the house. I opened the box and found a pair of strappy black heels with diamond buckles and a matching lily clip for my hair. A dress like this required makeup, so I headed to the bathroom and finished getting ready. I clipped the lily into my hair just over my left ear and finger-combed through my wavy hair. Then I slipped on my shoes and waited for Mr. Kadam" (Houck 358).

As I looked more closely at the dress, I couldn't help but feel a certain nagging feeling at the back of my mind. Something was off. This dress was far too nice for a simple dinner with Mr. Kadam. At first I put it off, thinking maybe there was a dress code for the restaurant we would be going to. But as I looked closer I once again noticed just how well the dress fit me and accented my plain figure very well. It was almost as if I were going on… a date? It was then that I realized what the problem was: I was wearing a date, date dress. That sneaking, arrogant prince! How dare he do this? And what was worse, Ren had somehow convinced Mr. Kadam to set me up to go out on a date with him when he knew I was still mad at him.

"Difficult? Oh no, this doesn't even come close to difficult, Mr. Kadam. Well if he thinks I'm going to play his little game, then my tiger has a lot to learn about women from the twenty-first century."

Quickly I undressed and put on my pajamas. I rushed to the bathroom, removed the makeup, and took the clip out before braiding my hair. Then I replaced the dress in the bag and put the shoes back in their box. Then, taking a piece of paper from the hotel stationary, I scribbled a note and attached it to the bag with the clip. I placed the items outside my door before shutting it and locking it up for the night.

"Nice try Ren but this girl just outsmarted the cat," I muttered as I went to go lock every window in my room.

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(Narrator's POV)

When Mr. Kadam arrived at Kelsey's door he was surprised to see the dress and shoebox lying in the hallway. He could've sworn he'd asked the maid to make sure that Miss Kelsey had received them. It was then Mr. Kadam noticed that there was a note attached to the dress bag. He removed the note and began to read it. Oh dear, he thought, this will be a problem.

Mr. Kadam tried knocking on the door. When Kelsey didn't answer he tried a second time. After trying for a third time and calling her name between knocks, with still no answer from Kelsey, Mr. Kadam sighed and retrieved the dress and shoes. He placed them in his own room and then proceeded to the hotel restaurant.

He walked into the candlelit restaurant where a hostess guided him into a section with floor-to-ceiling windows. There was only one occupant sitting at one of the tables, and he was just the person Mr. Kadam wanted to see. "He was dressed in an elegant black suit and he'd had his hair cut. Glossy black hair was swept back away from his face in tousled layers that tapered to a slight curl at the nape of his neck. The white shirt he wore was unbuttoned at the collar. It set off his golden-bronze skin and his brilliant white smile" (359). His smiled faded when he noticed Mr. Kadam was alone.

"Where is Kelsey?" Ren asked.

"I'm afraid, sir, that Miss Kelsey won't be coming," Mr. Kadam explained, "Apparently she uncovered our little ploy." He handed Ren the note.

The prince took the slip of paper and read:

Nice try.

Ren reread the note and then released a flustered sigh. This was not how he wanted the evening to go. He had hoped Kelsey would show and they could have a nice civil conversation while he wooed her. He even planned on forcing her to sit in his lap if she refused to behave like a normal date. Alas, she had discovered his little ruse and refused to come. Well he, Dhiren, Prince and High Protector of the Mujulaain Empire, was not one to easily give up, especially since becoming a tiger. He began to stand up.

"And where do you think you are going?" Mr. Kadam asked.

"I am not going to let Kelsey slip away," Ren replied, "I will insist she come down to dinner and talk to me."

"That won't do you much good young prince. I'm afraid the young lady wishes to be left alone. She would not even talk to me, let alone open her door when I knocked. Besides, that is not the proper way to win a girl's affection."

Ren stopped. "She belongs with me. I have to make her see that." And then he walked away without listening to another word. Mr. Kadam sighed and shook his head. I'm starting to see why Kelsey is so infuriated, he thought.

Meanwhile Ren had reached the elevator and pushed the button for Kelsey's floor (he had also conveniently ordered a room for himself on the same floor). He followed the scent of peaches and cream to her door and lightly knocked on it.

No answer.

He knocked again. Silence.

Finally he backed away from the door a step and called out to her. "Kelsey, come out here."

"Go away!" she called from the other side.

"We need to talk my prema," a slight irritated edge to his voice.

"You know, the dinner date was a pretty smooth idea, but how would you explain suddenly becoming a tiger in the middle of the appetizers? Not exactly your smartest plan." The sarcasm was not lost in her tone.

A smug grin played over his lips as he replied, "It seems that by retrieving one of Durga's gifts I have been partially released from the curse, rajkumari. I can now become a man for six full hours. Now open the door." He kept his voice very suave in hopes to lure her out.

From inside her room Kelsey sat motionless on the bed. Oh great, she thought bitterly, now Mr. Wonderful can harass me even longer. Grr, why did he have to have limitless time in Kishkindha? He just got cockier about us, that jerk. Just thinks he can get whatever he wants. Why can't he take a hint?!"

Kelsey just couldn't understand why Ren refused to see that she wanted nothing to do with him. Well, it wasn't entirely true. Part of her wanted to be swept up in his arms; that kiss back in the tunnel outside Hampi clearly stated what she felt toward him. But it just couldn't work. She was a plan ordinary girl, and Ren was an Adonis Indian Prince. He deserved someone beautiful to be his girlfriend. Things were so much simpler when he was just Ren the tiger, not Prince Dhiren. She groaned and walked to her door.

"You will open the door Kells, or I shall be forced to take drastic measures."

Kelsey threatened back, "You break down this door and I call security. You'll be thrown out on your tail and not even Mr. Kadam will be able to get you back in."

"Then I shall wait outside your window, just as Romeo waited for his Juliet."

"Pretty hard to do with all the windows locked and the curtains drawn, not to mention I found a nice pair of earplugs in the bathroom." She hoped he bought her bluff about the earplugs. "So just GO AWAY!"

Ren tensed as his frustration increased. He ignored the feel of his nails biting his palms. She was being so difficult. Why couldn't she see that he loved her and wanted to be with her? He just couldn't understand why she wanted to keep pushing him away.

"Just go away Ren!" she screamed once more but her voice also held a pleading tone. He could not refuse her when she pleaded like this, though he was not happy about it.

"As you wish, prema," he muttered and walked away. However, Kelsey never saw the smirk on his lips, and the predator behind his eyes. The hunt had only just begun.

The End

AN: Hope you like it and please R&R.