• Chapter 5
    tab “Eliy. Eliy, are you awake?” Eliy awoke to Henry standing over her. “I am sorry to wake you, but I thought you would like some food.” he lays a tray of food in front of Eliy. Eliy stares hungrily at the tray before her, then without thinking begins to stuff her mouth. Henry, sitting beside her, chuckles while he watches the scene. Eliy becomes embarrassed at her messy behavior.”
    tab “Um…aren’t you hungry?”
    tab “I already had some, and while I was out I found this.” He holds up a rose. “I was reminded of you when I saw its beauty. The red reminded me of the color of your blushed cheeks, and lips. The softness of the petals, your skin. The core surrounded, protected, enveloped by a gentle barrier, just as I wish you to be.” A force drew them closer as he said this, but then he stopped. He dropped the rose into Eliy’s lap and backed away. “I am sorry.” he turns and leaves the room.
    tab “Wait!” she calls to his back as it vanishes behind the door. “Why, why did he leave?” she asks herself as she picks up the rose.
    tab She finishes her breakfast and leaves the inn. “Henry?” she calls out. “I guess he left.” she says to herself as she looks at the rose still in her hands. “Wait… what if he really did leave? What if he decided it would be better to go on without me? What if I never see him again?” she begins to run about the town searching for Henry.
    tab She hears a familiar voice as she nears an alley. “Sorry sir nothing to report.” She looks to find that it was one of the palace guards she saw the previous day.
    tab “Keep looking he is around here somewhere.” Eliy looked at the guy who said this. It was the same person she saw that day standing near the gate. He turns to face Eliy’s direction. That same smile -- smirk-- that she saw the other day was on his face again. She quickly hides behind the wall. “Take the others and look in the south side of town”
    tab “Right.” replies the guard. Eliy’s heart begins to beat. She runs away from the alley.
    tab “Are they after me? Or are they after Henry? He ran away from the castle at the same time as me. And that guy--what does he want? Is he the head of the guards? He certainly doesn’t look like it. He looks like some sort of tutor.” Just then she heard a crow overhead. As she watched it fly off she found, that in the direction it flew, a person was standing at the bank of the river. “Henry!” She runs up to him and throws her arms around him.
    tab “Wha--?”
    tab “I, I saw guards from the palace and I was worried that they would find you.”
    tab “You were worried about me?” She quickly releases her hold and backs away.
    tab “Um well it’s just that we are traveling together, and I would not want to continue on by my self. And I would not want you to become harmed in any way. I mean if they threw you in one of those cells I wouldn’t be able to see you again. I mean--”
    tab He smiles. “The rose.”
    tab “What?”
    tab “The rose, the stem is broken.”
    tab “Ahh you are right. I’m sorry; it must have broken when I ran here. I’m sorry.”
    tab “There is no reason to be sorry.” He takes the rose from her hand and snaps the stem. He moves forward and pushes Eliy’s hair behind her ears. Then he slips the rose through her hair keeping it back. “There. You look better with your hair back anyway.” Eliy starts to blush.
    tab “Thank you.” They sit at the bank of the river, staring out towards the opposite shore.
    tab “What did you steal from the castle anyway?”
    tab “Huh?”
    tab “The guards if they are after you, you must have stolen something important.”
    tab “Oh. I only took this ring.” She takes the ring out of her pocket and hands it to Henry.
    tab “I see.”
    tab “Why? What is it?”
    tab “It is the ring of the royal family. Passed down generation to generation at the wedding of the new ruler.” He hands the ring back to Eliy.
    tab “I see. So why are they after you?”
    tab “Uhh-- I suppose you can consider me a runaway. Those born on the castle grounds stay on the castle grounds.”
    tab “That’s awful. To not be free to go where ever you please.”
    tab “It is usually not that unbearable. For once I would have just liked to get out and meet someone by my own accord.”
    tab “I see… what about your family? Was it hard to leave them?”
    tab “My parents died years ago. The only ones I could consider family were those in service to the royal family. You had a family, back at the village, correct? What were they like?”
    tab “Yes. My parents cared more about social standing and wealth than they did me. I was often either invisible or the subject of malice. In they end they tried to sell me off to have some connection with a wealthier family. That is when I ran away I couldn’t take it anymore.”
    tab “I see. So you were betrothed?”
    tab “…yeah, and no. More like he was self betrothed. He even took my grandmother’s ring for himself!”
    tab “Your grandmother’s ring? Was it important?”
    tab “I suppose not to many, but to me, it was as if that was one part of my family that was not against me. I suppose that I was hoping that this ring could replace it, but it is just not the same to me.”
    tab “So if something were to happen to him what would you do?”
    tab “Same thing I am doing now. Living my own life. Trying to forget that I ever met him. Trying to forget everything about them. All I want is to be happy, I don’t care where I am, I just want happiness…with you.” she quietly adds at the end.
    tab “Then I shall bring it to you.”
    tab “What?”
    tab “So this is where you were.” said a voice from behind them. Eliy turns to see that it is the same man from before. “You have led us on quite a chase.”
    tab “Henry!” Eliy yells as she grabs hold of his hand and tries to remain as close to him as possible. “We have to run; we have to get out of here.”
    tab “I am sorry but that is just not possible young lady. The guards will be arriving here momentarily. This area is surrounded. There is no escape.”
    tab “Henry.”
    tab “Do not worry Eliy, I promise nothing bad will happen to you.” Henry says as he tightens his grip on “Eliy’s hand.
    tab “Now if you two will follow me. I have prepared a carriage.” Says the man as he leads them to a horse and carriage by the road.
    tab “Henry?”
    tab “We have no choice. Either we go peacefully with him, or the guards will forcefully take us.” He leads Eliy to the carriage. The man offers his hand to help her up but she does not release her grip from Henry. Henry follows her and they sit side by side in the cart. The man signals the horses to move. “I am sorry.”
    tab “For what?”
    tab “It seems that because of me you will have to return to the place you hate the most.”
    tab “It is not your fault there was nothing you could do. But won’t I be killed once we return?”
    tab “I would never let that happen!” He stares into her eyes and she can sense is fierce determination.
    tab “Thank you.” she says as she lays her head on his shoulder. “Who is that man anyway? He has followed us all the way from the castle.”
    tab “He is the prince’s personal retainer, Sebastian.”
    tab “His personal retainer? The prince must really want the ring back that badly huh?”
    tab “They feel as if there is a very important piece of royalty missing right now.”
    tab “I see.”