Spring, 1942

Nineteen year old Ruthie Smithens loved the spring time, really she did. Today, though, or at least at this particular moment, she was too busy struggling to get an oversized bag of books to the Kittredges's house to notice.

And thoughts of "her" soldier, her secret, currently enlisted in the blasted and very unromantic war, beau was certainly not helping matters. She had gotten another letter from him yesterday, and she had already read it six times from beginning to end.

Kit burst out laughing when she opened the door for Ruthie.

"What?" Ruthie asked innocently.

Kit shook her head at her best friend as she helped lug the satchel over the threshold. "No wonder you needed a place to store some of your books! This is a huge amount!"

"There isn't that many." Ruthie objected. "These are only the ones that I don't read very much anymore. Adventures and such. I'm sure that you would still enjoy them very much."

Kit chuckled again. "Well, thank you for your consideration."

"But, really," Ruthie warned. "I haven't looked at most of them in forever, so there's no telling what you're going to find in them."

Kit smiled and raised her eyebrows. "I'll keep that in mind."

Ruthie left a few minutes later, not thinking another thing about it.

Later that night, as she habitually did before she went to bed, Ruthie took down from her bookcase a small, wooden box filled with letters. She flipped through them, intending to choose one to read. But something was wrong. One of her priceless letters was missing.

Fighting panic, Ruthie combed her entire room. The letters never, ever, left this room. But one of them had. The question was: where was it?

Ruthie sat on the floor, her back against the side of her bed, thinking this through. She had seen it last over a week ago. She had put it on the bedside table, and, in too much of a hurry to find a proper bookmark later that day, had used the letter as such.

So where was the book?

Ruthie sat straight up, eyes widening. Oh, no! No, no, no, no! She slammed her head into her hands, groaning. Kit's house. The book, the letter, was at Kit's house.

Not good.

But maybe, just maybe, if she was lucky, Kit wouldn't find it.

Oh, Ruthie did not want to have to explain this to her best friend, at least not this way.

She would have to find a way to retrieve the letter without Kit noticing it. Tomorrow. She would do it tomorrow.

The following morning, Kit met her at the door. Her friend's greeting was, "I thought that you'd come over."

"Oh?" Ruthie tried to keep her tone nonchalant. "Why is that?"

Kit pulled a piece of paper out of her apron pocket, a smile flitting across her face, and held it out to Ruthie. The letter. Ruthie flinched, taking the letter, as guilt filled her eyes.

"'Prince Charlie'?" Kit quoted Ruthie's nickname for Charlie Kittredge, the one that she had used in the letter, with upraised eyebrows.

"It's a play off of prince charming." Ruthie offered.

Kit nodded. "I figured as much. I'm not mad at you, you know."

"You're not?"

"No!" Kit laughed. "But you absolutely have to come in and tell me how this happened."

A smile played about Ruthie's lips as the memories came back to her. "Well, I guess that it all really started a few years ago…"


This is a one-shot that I came up with when I realized that there were no Ruthie stories in the category. Enjoy! Please review! Thanks!:)