There once was a princess who was beloved by all who knew her. She loved her town and those who lived there. Most were taken by her beauty, which at first and second sight was breath taking. Her long flowing auburn locks caressed her alabaster skin that was lightly kissed by a touch of rose color on her cheeks. Her eyes were deep dark pools of chocolate that held a sweetness that was matched by no other. She often left the confines of the palace and made visits into town. She would clothe herself in simpler garb, so that she could blend into the crowds and not be easily detected. During one of these visits, that is when he saw her.
He was a young man who recently moved into town with his brother and father. He was instantly taken and could recall everything about the day he first set his eyes on her, the day that forever changed his life and dreams. He was picking up some things that his father asked him to get so they could have a proper stew for that evenings dinner. As he was in the market square, looking for celery and carrots, out of the corner of his eye something caught his attention and as he looked up he saw her. Instantly all of the air escaped him and was unable to draw breath into his lungs, he could only look in fascination to the exquisite beauty before him.
She was walking out of the bakery holding a basket of bread. He devoured everything about her as she walked and smiled to the person to her right. He had never seen any other woman carry herself the way she did, she carried herself with a quiet grace and stern confidence that was evident with every fluid step she took. He was entranced and without realizing it he started to follow her as his mind was racing with all the data that he was accumulating watching her, so much so, that he did not see that he was about to step off the curb of the sidewalk and hit the cobble stone street in front of him.
His foot slipping jolted him back to reality as all the groceries from that days excursion were heavy and awkward and he could not keep his balance. As he willed his body to control his cargo with every once of strength that he had in his possession, he grunted and gasped loudly, catching everyone’s attention. Internally the only thought he could muster was that of "with the stage set, it was time for the star of the show to make his grand entrance....Here is ...Michael!" With a thunderous crash he fell, face first into the street. While his hands instinctively went to cushion his fall it caused all of his groceries spilled in every direction.
Silence. That is all he heard, until one child could not contain their laughter any longer and gave a hearty laugh. It only took that little encouragement for the entire crowd to join in and create an explosion of hysterical laughter. "Just Great Michael!" he let slip out before closing his eyes and placing his head down on top of his hands.
As he collected himself and prepared to face the questioning eyes and knowing smirks all around him, he heard a sweet voice ask him something. He couldn't make out what was being said over the crowd but annoyed at his current situation of being the laughing stock of the town, he lifted his head and retorted to the person in front of him with an accusatory tone, "What?!" As he looked up his mind instantly seized at the vision before him, it was her, his bakery angel. Lost in the rays of her beauty, he realized that she was more of an exquisite beauty up close than from afar.
She was talking to him, he couldn't believe that she was actually talking to him. He quickly willed his voice to speak but only a whispering "sorry" was all he produced.
"Are you alright?" she asked him while placing her hand on his shoulder gently.
He instantly felt the electricity of her touch that traveled throughout his body. He shook his head, trying to get a hold of himself then looked back up and said "eh…yeah...umm fine...thanks."
With a final squeeze of her hand on his shoulder and a sweet smile, she stood up and stepped back in order to give him room to get up. Suddenly her companion said "My Lady, please we must return its getting late."
With that, she quickly excused herself by apologizing for being unable to help him gather his things and slowly turned and started walking away. Instantly his heart ached, certainly this could not be it. It couldn't end, not like this.
Yet, he couldn't think of what to say and as she continued to walk away from him he heard himself blurt out, "I'm Michael by the way." She stopped and turned around. He saw her lift one eyebrow while smiling at him. "Sara" was all she said before she turned back around and continued walking away from him.
“Sara.” That one word would change his life forever. That single beautiful word would be forever tattooed on his heart, soul and mind. After that day, he went to the market square looking for her every moment he could. Hoping that he would be able to see and talk to her and thank her for her kindness but every time was the same. Frantic eyes scanning hundreds of faces while his heart raced out of control and his breath quickened with desire and longing but he never found her.
“Where was she?” he asked himself in silent agony. He dreamed of her with increasing frequency and at times he almost convinced himself that it had all been just a dream, that she was nothing more than a beautiful figment of his imagination. Yet, he willed himself to shake those delusions from his mind and believe that she was out there, hopefully, thinking of him.
“Does she think of me?” his mind asked his heart as memories of her on that day in the square flooded his mind. As he continued his sweet reverie, his mind wandered to her perfect face, her brilliant smile and her captivating eyes. Without hesitation, he traveled further into his vision and willingly dove into her deep pools of chocolate drowning him in ecstasy as the sweet sensations possessed his body and bewitching his soul.
A vast ocean of blue and green that was what she thought of when she remembered the boy from the square. On the surface it was a casual meeting, an insignificant occurrence that only made her late to the meeting with her parents at the palace to discuss the upcoming ball that would take place in three weeks time, but only on the surface. Underneath, she thought of him constantly, she was haunted by the intensity of his crystal blue orbs that seemed to touch her very soul.
She remembered how she had turned right at the moment of his certain demise. He was teetering on the verge of disaster and before she could react, he fell and watched as the destruction unfolded before her. At first, she held back her laughter but as she saw him flinch in pain and place his head on top of his hands like a weeping child, something inside her reacted and she walked toward him. Instinctively she placed her hand on his shoulder while asking him if he was alright.
His response was short and curt but the instant he looked up all of that disappeared. His eyes were in a word, beautiful… In another exquisite. They held such warmth and kindness that she was taken aback. While he thought of his answer to her question, she explored his face, only to be fascinated by this extraordinary specimen. From his shortly cropped hair, that suited him perfectly, to his full lips that he licked as he tried to find the words to respond to her. Separately, all these things were not all that meaningful but together, they were an answer to a long whispered prayer.
“Do you like him?”
“What?” Sara was shocked back by Katie’s question.
“Prince Kellerman? He’s going to be your escort for the Ball isn’t he?”
She closed her eyes and let out a cleansing breath. She thought she had been caught but when Katie clarified what she meant, she felt relived.
Katie used to be her nanny when she was younger, but now she was her constant companion, her very own partner in crime. If Katie was able to see the show that she was playing inside her mind, she would have known that she was thinking of Michael and not Paul.
“Yes.” Realizing possible confusion of her response, she quickly clarified what she meant.
“I mean yes, he is supposed to be my escort for the ball, but he’s just a friend. I don’t like him THAT way.”
She had known Paul since she was a little girl. They were great friends and had some wonderfully fun times when they were younger and besides some regular curiosity when they were older they never had been a true couple.
He was the heir to a very powerful family of a nearby Kingdom and it was long assumed, mostly by her father, that she would eventually marry Paul and create some type of aristocrat power house but that is not what Sara wanted. She wanted to marry a man that she loved, not one that would just improve her standing. Yet, even though, she wanted to marry someone she loved she also knew, being the next queen, she couldn’t marry some guy off the street, or more specifically, one she saw fall on the street. With that reality, she wished she was someone different, someone normal… someone free. With that, she decided she needed some air. “Katie, lets go shopping.”
“I’m late!” Michael yelled at himself.
He was due at his father’s shop 10 minutes ago. He promised his father that he would start learning the family business, but being a blacksmith was not his passion. He yearned to create drawings of massive structures.
He was mesmerized with tall buildings and their design and he loved how a building could serve a function but that it could also be a work of art. That is why he enjoyed looking and studying the palace. Its unique design was a pleasure to behold. The intricate carvings, the lattice work and the window designs that were fully functioning but also added to its allure. He always wanted to go and look inside the palace because he could only imagine the beauty within its walls. The splendor would no doubt capture his very soul, because he had already been fascinated by the outside of its walls.
When he tried to explain what he wanted to become, his father was not happy. His Father, Aldo, wanted him to follow in his footsteps, to carry on the tradition of the family trade since his brother, Lincoln, had decided to become a butcher. It pained him to disappoint his father and that is why, in part, he agreed to be an apprentice. He would be the dutiful son, the one that would make it right.
It was during this contemplation that he did not notice the event that would veer his life into chaos. He was fumbling with his books, looking down, walking at a hurried pace cursing his father for intruding on his “Sara Search,” when it happened. Just as he looked up for a moment, he saw what was going to happen and he was powerless to stop it.
Sara has tried to be elusive and secretive. She tried to discretely scan her surroundings without arousing anyone’s suspicion to what exactly she was searching for. While she was in the bakery, she purposefully looked at the picture window trying to see if she saw him. A pang of disappointment filled her when she didn’t see him. “Katie I’m going to the library, I will meet you back at the palace, and I promise I won’t be long.” She exited the bakery, barely hearing Katie’s objection and pleas to be careful. Katie knew all too well that Sara had a strong will and she could not be easily swayed so she quickly paid for the croissants and made her way for the door and back to the palace.
Sara walked oblivious to her surroundings. She was lost in thought, a common occurrence ever since she met Michael. Her thoughts were mesmerized by this stranger and they continued to gain fervor. At first they remained benign and sweet, she would flash to the tenderness of his eyes, the fullness of his smile and the strength and beauty of his arms and hands but now those thoughts evolved into something far more dangerous but at the same time, far more desirable.
In her mind, she let her deepest desire run wild and free. His eyes that once only reflected sweetness and playfulness mutated into dark blue pools of wanton desire. Eyes that were once content to passively observe, now were actively devouring every inch of her body sending her closer to a sweet oblivion. She imagined how his full lips would feel against hers. Soft supple lips feasting upon sweet sensitive flesh, long lost to human touch, nipping and teasing as he traveled to forbidden areas. Hands moving of their own volition, attempting to lay claim of newly discovered terrain. Each touch and caress a new experience of total bliss, each culminating into a perfect sensation of fulfillment.
“Is this all you need?”
“What?” Sara asked, awaken from her thoughts.
Again the librarian asked, “Will that do it for you?” Sara looked at her confused at her current situation; unknowingly she had causally walked up to the desk and placed the book in her hands on the counter.
“Umm, yes…umm...I am sorry.” She spewed out as she tried to regain her composure.
She willed her heart rate to normalize. She lightly touched her flushed cheeks, hoping that no one knew what caused her current state. She quickly turned around, avoiding eye contact and hurried towards the exit. Her single train of thought of fleeing the library made her blind to the oncoming collision.