Once Upon A Time...
18 year-old Princess Vanessa skipped down the halls of her parents’ castle. She had just finished her geography lesson and was in an exceptionally good mood. Suddenly, her head lady in waiting, Kaycee, called her into her father’s chambers where her parents were discussing something.
“Vanessa,” her mother the queen began.
“If you could hurry up mother, I just finished lessons and need to go to the library to pick up the book of poetry and then…” the princess began to ramble.
“You’re getting married tomorrow.” her father blurted out.
It was then that the 18 year-old's world stopped spinning. The Princess stopped and slumped in the chair observed for her for so long. She ran her hands down the arms, feeling the carven wood picture of her family's arms with her palm. She was nervous and didn't know what to do. In a matter of hours, she had been transformed from a girl full of intellect and spirit to an anxious, nervous and blushing bride. And she didn't even know who she was marrying. Her mother had told her a Prince from a close kingdom. That only narrowed it down to three families. Two with all girls so she could only guess it was the Efrons. Her heart skipped a beat as the heavy doors opened and the other family proceeded through them. She only prayed it wasn't the eldest Efron, for he was not that kind. She had heard stories. But she had not met any of the other Efron's children. That was still a mystery to her.
The blushing princess held her breath as she took a look at the family standing in front of her. Standing there were the King and Queen and their son - Samuel Efron, the first born.
“Noooo!!!” she whispered under her breath. Suddenly, a meek 18 year-old boy with shaggy brown hair, eyes the color of her sapphire tiara, and a smile that could melt Antarctica, stepped out from behind Samuel.
Her father spoke up, breaking her trance with is loud voice. “I hope you had a lovely trip. The ceremony will take place tomorrow, correct?”
King David Efron shook his head.
“Are we missing something, King David?” spoke King Greg.
“There is one problem. There is a rule in my kingdom - the firstborn must always marry first. My son, Zachary, cannot get married until Samuel has gotten married.”
While Princess Vanessa and Prince Zachary stared at each other, getting lost into each others eyes, both fathers were furiously discussing what to do with Prince Samuel. If anyone understood rules and tradition it was King Greg, for that was how he married her mother. When Vanessa snapped out of her trance, she heard her father protest, "But she is promised to Zachary, I will not allow it any other way."
King David stood his ground however, "It is the rule of our land and it must be Samuel first, I am sure Vanessa will not mind."
Vanessa started to breathe heavily, hoping her father would protest, while Zac dropped his head and could only stare at his feet hoping he heard wrong. In the back Samuel was standing smirking at what he was hearing. His brother had always gotten most of the attention, he was the smart one, the kind one, the pretty one. For once Samuel would take something that was supposed to be Zac's and he couldn't help but laugh. He got Vanessa, the most beautiful princess in the land.
“You’re wrong,” Vanessa spoke up. “I do mind. I mind very much, actually.” The group gasped. Vanessa was usually a shy girl. It took a lot to get her to speak up like this. She opened her mouth to continue when suddenly the dinner bell rang.
“We’ll continue this discussion later,” King Greg said and they all followed him to the dining hall.
The dinner was awkward. The Kings and Queens mingled with each other but Samuel, Zachary, and Vanessa quietly picked at their food. Zachary and Vanessa sat next to each other and Samuel sat across from them. Little known to the rest of the table, Zac and the young princess were playing footsie with each other underneath the table.
“I can see that,” Samuel said in his slimy voice. They both turned a shade of crimson. “Look,” Samuel began. “I can see you two are starting to like each other. I could care less. I’m marrying Vanessa no matter what.”
Vanessa gasped in disgust. She was not a prize to be won! She opened her mouth to reply when…
“We’ve made a decision.” King David spoke up. “The Princess Vanessa will marry…”
Her breath caught in her throat as she watched the Kings return to the royal dining room after a brief conference outside the hall. The Kings looked between the children seated around them, including the Hudgens' eldest son, Nathan. They had made their decision and her heart sunk a little as she saw her father's eyes dart away from hers. She knew then. She knew what was going to happen as much as she didn't want to hear it. So she kept wishing, Please don't be Samuel, Please don't be Samuel, Please don't be Samuel.
"Princess Vanessa shall marry Samuel," King David's voice echoed against the walls as she sunk down into the chair below her. No...
"Yes!" Samuel's arms went up in the air as he jumped in a self-victory only for himself.
"Father, may I have a word?" Prince Zachary spoke up, walking over to the Kings and stating his case. "I do not think Samuel should marry the Princess," he breathed out and she looked up, astonished that he would say something only knowing her for a few hours. But that was not entirely true.
Princess Vanessa had always fancied Prince Zachary, and it was safe to say that he fancied her as well. Throughout the years, at Kingdom festivities, they were always stealing glances and trying to catch each other's attention. Her ladies in waiting still tease her about it to this day.
"And why not, son?" King David placed a hand on his second born's shoulder and brought King Gregory in on the conversation. "There is a tradition, you know this tradition."
"I do father, but," he paused, glancing back to the Princess and to his father once again, "but I am falling for the Princess and wish to be the one she pledges her love to this coming fortnight."
The Kings exchanged knowing looks and let out heavy breaths as the Princess approached her pursuer's side, her hand gently letting him know she was there beside him. "The tradition still stands, Zachary."
"But there has to be a way around it Father, Samuel is not right for the Princess. I am," Zachary persisted and the Kings exchanged knowing looks again.
"There is a way..."
"There is?" Vanessa, Samuel and Zachary all said at once.
"There is, but it requires that the both of you," King Gregory nodded towards the Princess and Prince Zachary, "find a bride for your brother....before the fortnight."
Prince Zachary looked down to Vanessa, her arm still woven onto his as a life force and he grazed her forehead with his lips gently. "We accept this challenge Father, King Gregory. We will find a bride for my brother."
"I'm tired," the princess whined. "It's hot, my feet hurt, and I'm just plain tired."
"I don't care," said the princess's best friend, the Lady Monique. "We're gonna find that wretched prince a wife if it's the last thing I do. I want you to end up happy, dear, and its not gonna be with Samuel." She his name like it was a foul word.
Vanessa giggled. They were both seated in the royal carriage and had been traveling all day searching the village for a maiden good enough for the first Efron. Every maiden they had found had turned down the offer - no body wanted to marry him. He had a reputation for being snobby, arrogant, and annoying.
The princess sighed. "It's useless. No body wants him. I'm gonna end up marrying him instead and we'll have ugly babies and live an ugly life. The end."
It was Monique's turn to giggle. "We'll find someone...."
Her voice drifted off as they came to a halt in front of the last house in the village.
"If we don't find anyone here, we're hopeless."
The two girls slowly stepped out of the carriage and knocked on the wooden door of the small hut. An elderly lady answered it.
"May I help you, darling?"
"Ummmm...are you the only one who lives in this house?" Monique spoke up.
"No, my daughter lives here as well."
"May we speak to her, please?" the princess kindly asked.
"Of course," the old woman allowed them to step inside the shack. Sitting at the table, was a young girl. She was perfect for Samuel. The elderly lady allowed the Princess and Lady Monique into her home, leading them to the back room where a fire was warming the four walls that enclosed the two in their home. "My lady, miss, this is my daughter, Ashley. Ashley, please, come meet the Princess and her Lady in waiting, Monique."
Ashley arose from the chair she had been sitting in, knitting what looked like a scarf for the winter season still upon the land outside. "My lady," Ashley spoke softly at first and curtsied before the both. "Um, not to be rude, but what are you two doing all the way out here. It's certainly a ways from the castle."
"Actually, we have a question to ask you. If you don't mind," The Princess persisted, looking behind her as her mother had retreated to the table to sit.
"Have you heard of Prince Samuel?"
"What do you think of him Ashley?" Monique asked as Ashley brushed her hair back from her face, revealing piercing sienna eyes that would match Samuel's cobalt ones with a spark. For Monique was sure of it. And who knows, if Prince Samuel married Ashley, he might soften under her.
"Well, he's cute, I'll admit that, but I have heard stories," she hesitated in front of the royals.
"Would someone like yourself ever be interested in say, marrying the Prince?"
"Marrying him? You two certainly cut to the chase, don't you?"
"Let me tell you a story, Ashley and then you can decide maybe if you want to travel with us back to the castle...." The Princess started in her story and before the hour was over, the three were all back in the carriage on their way back to the castle.
"I am out of my mind for doing this," Ashley muttered to herself as Lady Monique waited for her by the carriage. But all her thoughts were lost as she saw the Princess greet Prince Zachary with more than enough love in her eyes than most ever carried. "Maybe not so out of my mind."
The minute Vanessa saw him she ran up to him. “Zachary!” she half yelled half giggled. He picked her up and twirled her around in his arms. A bystander would’ve thought they’d been lovers for years.
As they embraced, he whispered into her hair, “Did you find a bride?”
She backed away but was still at an arm’s length. With a mile wide smile on her face she replied “Yes.”
They both chuckled happily and embraced each other again. Lady Monique and Ashley observed from the side. “I think I’m doing the right thing,” Ashley finally said.
The four of them entered the castle, Zac and Vanessa hand-in-hand, and made they’re way to the King’s chambers. King David and King Greg were both sitting there, discussing the matter at hand. Samuel was sulking nearby.
“Father,” Vanessa proclaimed. “We’ve found a bride!” At that moment, Ashley stepped forward and meekly curtsied.
They all stood there in silence, wondering what the Kings’ would say. Finally, King David spoke up. “I think I smell a double wedding.”
The Princess brought Ashley towards the royal quarters again. This time dressed in a more fancy dress with her hair swept away from her face. She looked like royalty and that was something that most could not say. "Ashley," The Princess stopped her for a moment, adjusting her shoe as the ladies in waiting gathered around them once again. "Thank you."
Ashley smiled at the Princess, knowing in her heart that she was truly greatful for Ashley's attempt to give her true happiness. And who knew, this could be her chance at true happiness as well. "It is my pleasure, Vanessa. Truly, it is."
"I wouldn't say that aloud until you've had the pleasure of meeting Prince Samuel."
"He can't be as bad as you say, can he?"
"Come on, let's just show you," Vanessa looped their arms together as they appeared to be good friends at the sight. They strolled into the giant meeting hall where Vanessa's parents, along with Zachary's parents and all of their siblings stood around awaiting their arrival. "It'll be fine," Vanessa whispered to Ashley.
"I hope so. I really hope so."
Clasping her hand for reassurance, Princess Vanessa stopped in from of Samuel, who looked more cleaned up than he had in ages. His blue eyes were as blue as Zac's and fixated on the fair maiden beside the brunette. "Prince Samuel, may I present Lady Ashley."
Ashley slowly bowed her head, holding her gown out in her hands as she curtsied. She let out a little gasp as she felt the Prince grab her hand and kiss it slowly. "Hel...Hello," Prince Samuel said with a smile looking at the beautiful blonde in front of him. For once in his life he was left speechless.
Ashley blushed has the Prince kept her hand in his. "It is an honor to meet you Prince," she said sweetly with a wide grin on her face. He really couldn't be as bad as everyone had thought. He seemed like such a gentleman. I think I can handle this, Ashley thought.
As the families began welcoming and introducing everyone to Ashley, Zac had snuck behind Vanessa. Finally she was going to be his, forever he thought. Slowly he reached for her hand and squeezed it letting her know it was him. "Meet me in the garden after dinner," he said quietly. And with a wink he was gone to be introduced to Ashley.
The Princess excused herself rather quickly after the Prince did from the dinner table, but not before reassuring Ashley that she would be in good hands, nodding towards Samuel who was, interestingly enough, still fixated on the fair maiden. And that, was a sight to see and a miracle to Vanessa's heart. Pulling her shawl over her shoulders as the cool wind pressed against her at the moment, Vanessa slowed down her steps as she approached the south gardens of the palace.
Normally, it was not this beautiful at night. It was dark and in all honesty, a bit spooky to her. But that was far from her mind at the moment as the candles along the walkway lit her way towards the fountain and through the rose bushes. "Wow," she said, and was startled as the Prince stepped out from behind the wall bush. "Good gosh, Prince Zachary. You should wear a bell around your neck if you do that all the time," she joked, her hand lightly hitting his chest as he stepped closer to her.
"I should? But that would mean your Ladies in Waiting and my Knights coming to watch us all day long. And I, definitely don't want that. At least not right now," the Prince smiled widely, echoing her own.
"No," she agreed, "me either." Her breath caught in her throat as his lips gently brushed against her skin very close to her lips.
She wanted nothing more than to kiss him - really kiss him right then. But it wouldn't be right. They still weren't technically betrothed to one another yet. Not until Samuel and Ashley both agreed to promise themselves to each other as well. "So, what are your intentions, Prince Zachary?"
"My intentions, I'm not going to lie to you, are to hold your hand," hers slid into his seamlessly, like it belonged there all along. "To make you blush, to hold you closer," Zachary pulled her closer to his own frame and walked with her side by side towards the tip of the garden that opened up into the palace-sized pool the King and Queen had always wanted to have in their home. "And maybe, just maybe," he looked down at her as her shawl revealed her flawless skin underneath. "We can go for a dip?"
The Princess giggled. "I see." she said quietly. "Well then, what are we waiting for?"
Together, they stripped down to their undergarments. Vanessa shivered in the breeze as she was only wearing a corset and and petticoat. Zachary wrapped his arms around her. "Let's go," he whispered into her ear.
He jumped in first, splashing her with the luke-warm water. "It's fantastic in here! Come on, jump in!"
"Nah," she giggled and began to walk away. He swam up to the rim, gently grabbed her ankle and pulled her towards the water. She screamed in delight, and he caught her in his arms. They laughed in each other's presence, happy to be together. "I thought I was gonna get hurt," she said.
"I would never, ever let you get hurt."
She smiled and leaned her forehead against his chest. They stayed like that for a while, taking in the night's beauty.
Suddenly, Vanessa pulled out of his grip and began to swim towards the other end of the pool. "Bet ya can't catch me!" she half-giggled, half-yelled. He swam towards her and grabbed her foot, pulling her towards him. After choking on her laughter, she announced "You gotta stop doing that!"
She smiled at him and suddenly stopped when his face was serious. He leaned closer to her, and they both took a deep breath, as they were about to share their first kiss.
The Princess leaned into his frame, not able to hide her smile as his arms encircled her waist and pulled her closer. Their lips barely brushed as the Prince pulled back, watching the Princess' face as her eyes were still closed. Hearing no objection on her end, he leaned back in, capturing her lips again and this time with more passion. Honestly, he had wanted to do that for longer than he could remember. She had caught his attention many years ago with her and her sisters and Ladies in Waiting frolicking over in the Efron's palace at the birthday celebration for his father.
The Prince heard her moan against his lips and felt her hands sliver up his arms to circle his neck. His lips slowly started to travel down her neck as her face was reigned on with feathery kisses.
"Zachary," her breath caught in her throat as he showed no intent of stopping. "We must control ourselves....Zac..."
"I am, Princess, I am..."
It was a good thing that they were in the shallower end of the pool, since Zachary had given up swimming a while ago. She was now pinned against a wall and he had one hand on his waist holding her up and the other on the small of her back.
"Your beautiful," he whispered breathlessly continuing to shower her with kisses. Now he was gently kissing her collarbone, slowly making his way down her body. He knew it was only a matter of time before neither of them would be able to stop, but he just couldn't bring himself to left go of her.
"Za..Zac," the Princess got out as his kiss just made her lose all the concentration she had. She just couldn't stop him from kissing her and she didn't want him to stop, not now, not ever. "Keep..." she took a deep breathe, "...going," she finished her hands both holding his head as he continued to explore.
The two were so caught up in the moment they hadn't heard the noise nearby. Vanessa finally opened her eyes and gasped at who was standing at the opposite side of the pool. The Princess stopped the Prince from going any farther and pointed to the other side of the pool where Prince Samuel and Lady Ashley stand gapping at them both.
"You are so in trouble. If you think that you're going to marry her now..." Samuel chuckled and winced, receiving a hit from Ashley on his forearm. "What was that for?"
"For saying that!" Ashley poked at his chest, making him walk backwards along the edge of the pool. "You, Prince Samuel, are a piece of work. If you ever want to speak to me or even kiss me, as you were about to do before your curiosity got the best of you, I think you better leave those two alone. And don't you think I won't know," Ashley glared, as Samuel tumbled over a statue and bit back a smirk. She was feisty and he liked it, even though he would not admit that in front of his brother.
Zachary covered the Princess with her shawl as they exited the pool, dripping from the cool liquid that clung to them. He clutched her hand, kissing the back of it as they watched the two before them with enjoyment.
"But she is not engaged to him!" Samuel gave Ashley more ammunition.
"She sure isn't engaged to you either! And neither am I!" Ashley glared more as Samuel took her by surprise and kissed her. She wasn't sure what brought it on, but she wasn't pushing him away. In fact, she kissed back and pulled him closer.
Vanessa and Zachary smiled, looking back at each other and Vanessa was even brave enough to steal a kiss from him. "Have you seen our stables yet?"
"No, but I have to say, Princess, back at my kingdom, I'm quite the horse-racer. I've won many a race in my time." The young Prince began to brag but Vanessa just hit him lightly on the chest.
"Let's get changed, and then we'll see what you've got." They left the garden, hand-in-hand, leaving Ashley and Samuel there, still kissing passionately.
After changing into proper riding clothes, they went into the stable. The horses began to neigh at their arrival. Zac went up to one and began to pet it.
"Be careful, she doesn't like..." the Princess began but her voice trailed off as she saw Blackbird, the rowdiest of all the horses, warm up to the Prince immediately. She smiled.
"She doesn't like what?" the Prince asked with a smirk.
"Never mind," Vanessa giggled. She went up to her own horse, Sundance, and began to prepare her for riding.
"You ready for me to kick your royal behind?" the Princess giggled.
"Yeah right," the Prince replied. Zachary got on Blackbird and the Princess got on Sundance. Together, they rode off into the moonlight. After riding in the darkness of the night the two decided to bring the horse back to the stable. "Blackbird and I were just tired," Zachary said getting off his horse. He stopped when he saw the way the moon light was hitting Vanessa's face. "Perfect," he whispered finally starting to walk again.
"Sure," she said with a giggle, "Sundance and I haven't lost yet." She gently petted Sundance and gave him a kiss, Sundance was given to her was very young, the bond between them was something she just couldn't describe. As she lead Sundance back to his stall and closed the door gently. "What did you say, my Prince?" she asked with a smile.
Zachary had just closed Blackbird's door and was now walking towards his beautiful Princess. "You're perfect," he said before he closed the distance between and kissed her. His arms went around her waist and hers around his neck.
When she finally pulled away, she leaned back in to whisper in his ear, "This way." She had grabbed his hand and led him to a secret ladder against the wall. When she was little she would climb up to the second floor, which was used for storing hay, and would make pretend she was traveling the world, with Sundance near her. No one knew about this place, but Zachary was someone she felt she could share anything with. "My own secret spot," she said with a wink.
Before she knew it Zachary had grabbed her and pinned her against a wall. She was let out a quiet moan as his lips had found its way to her neck. They both backed away and he slowly lowered her onto the floor which was loosely covered with straw. He began lifting up her shirt, his hands feeling the warmth of her stomach before he backed away. "Are you sure," he asked getting lost in her chocolate-brown eyes.
"Very sure," she smiled pulling Zachary's shirt off of him. He once again on top of her and the rest of there clothes were soon scattered around them. This was better than anytime Princess Vanessa had imagine making love. Anytime she winced in pain, he would stop and make sure she was okay. Prince Zachary was a gentleman in every sense of the word. Vanessa was amazed by how wonderful she felt after. He held her close as they just tried to both catch their breath again. And as they were both about to drift off to sleep in each others arms, Vanessa heard her name being called.
They both dressed quickly, stealing a few kisses in between as they heard her name three more times. One more kiss, initiated by the Princess was stolen and left the Prince wanting more before she scurried off in search of who was calling her. "I'll see you later," she whispered with a wink. And that was exactly the case.
Thirty minutes later, Lady Monique fixed the Princess' hair so it was just right as the Lady Kaycee and Olesya tended to her dress. Vanessa was still confused as to what was going on as no one had told her what was going on. All she knew was that her Ladies in Waiting were actually doing something for once and working to make a deadline which was in an hour’s time.
The doors to her quarters were opened as Queen Gina and her sister, Stella, came through and rushed up to her. Vanessa's attention immediately went to her mother. "Mother, what is going on? No one will tell me a thing."
"I know my dear," the Queen wiped away a loose strand from her daughter's hair and looked her back in her eyes. "My dear girl, you must understand that I never wanted this. But your father and King David are persistent in joining the two kingdoms."
"What? Mother, what does that mean?" she stammered, her Ladies in Waiting retreating to the back wall as Stella stood closer by, watching their mother break the disheartening news to the eldest of the Hudgens daughters.
"It means," Gina breathed in, "that you're getting married. Tonight."
"WHAT?! Father, you can't do this! Samuel can't marry her!" Zachary protested at the news with Samuel and Ashley standing in the room behind him. "She has to marry me!"
"Enough!" King David slammed his palm into the table before him and faced his son. "I understand you love her, but love does not matter now..."
"How can you even say that? You married mother for love! You defied your father and still have the kingdom. Love has everything to do with it!" Zachary started to storm off and out of the hall, stopping just when the guards opened the doors for him. "And just for your information, Father," he said bitterly, "Vanessa is mine."
And there was only one way that statement could be taken. King David's eyes grew wide as his second son exited the hall and looked over to his wife. This was surely, an interesting turn.
A teary eyed Vanessa sat on her bed quietly. Oh, how she wished none of this had ever happened. She started to cry again at the thought of having to leave her one true love to marry someone she didn't sincerely care for. Suddenly, the door burst open. Zachary entered the room, tears in his eyes as well.
"Come on. We're leaving."
She gasped. "What are you talking about?"
"There's not much time, the guards are following us." He grabbed her hand.
"We can't just leave!"
"We have too."
"Zac!" She let go of his hand. "I'm not leaving."
He stopped and looked into her eyes. "Do you love me?"
She nodded. "More than anything."
"Then we have to leave. Anything it takes to be together."
She didn't want to leave. She had grown up here and had so many memories of holidays and family gatherings. This palace was her home. But, she knew one thing for sure: she loved him too much to give him up. She nodded and gave a small smile. "Follow me," she said. She took him to a secret exit in her chambers that led to the gardens. From there, they went to the stables. Vanessa got on Sundance, Zac on Blackbird. And as the sun slowly began to rise, the two lovers escaped.
After an hour of silence Vanessa decided to speak up. "Zachary, I'm tired," Vanessa quietly said, trying her best not to fall asleep on Sundance. The sun was now completely out and she had no idea where they were going. But Zachary did, so she followed, trusting him.
"We are almost there," he replied gently, pulling Blackbird next to Sundance and rubbing her back. He knew she didn't want to leave, but his life would not be the same without her. They needed to escape, they needed to be together. "Look straight ahead," he pointed to a small house that could easily be missed unless you knew it was there.
They got of their horses and brought them out back so no one would know they were there. The house looked like a hiding place of some sort. Vanessa kept looking back before entering the house wondering how safe it was. But once she saw a chair she forget everything and collapsed in it. "My secret hiding spot," Zachary said with a smile, lifting her up off the chair and carrying her into a small room with a bed. "Get some rest my love," he said lifting hair off of her face and giving her forehead a soft kiss.
He didn't know how much trouble he would be in, but soon enough he heard a knock on the door. It wasn't just any knock however, it was a secret knock that only two other people knew. "Hi Corbin and Lucas," he said quietly stepping aside to let them in.
"What have you done?" Corbin spoke up. As soon as he and Lucas both heard that Prince Zachary had kidnapped Princess Vanessa they knew where to go. This is where they would go when they were young to hide from all their royal duties. Corbin and Lucas were both knights in training, so their loyalty lied with the young Prince. The three knew they needed to come up with a plan and quickly.
The Princess awoke a few hours later, rubbing her eyes to her surroundings. It was not her home, she knew that as much as anyone did. But the previous night's events came back to her in a rush. The pool...the stable...a wedding dress...A wedding dress that she was still in on a bed that was only half slept in. Placing her feet on the ground, she faintly heard voices beyond the door and peeked out to see if the Prince was still with her.
Sighing as she saw him pacing back and forth, his suspenders hanging from his waist as two others whispering around him. She was unsure of going out of the room but all was lost when one of the Knights caught her gaze and let the young Prince know as he tended to her.
"Good Morning," he whispered, sliding the door open and kissing her forehead gently. "Sort of. How do you feel?"
"I don't know," she said honestly. "But I'm just glad you're still with me."
"I won't ever leave," he promised her, leading her out of the room. "Princess, these are two of my Knights, Sir Lucas and Sir Corbin. Knights, this is my Princess."
She smiled as he said that, His Princess. It warmed her heart and gave her hope that they were doing what they were doing for a purpose and weren't doing it for nothing. "Good Morning kind Sirs," she curtsied as they bowed fully to her. "Please," she stepped forward and pulled them up with a smile. "What now?"
"We were just discussing that Princess. Your Prince here seems to think he can hide from his father forever..." Corbin stated with Lucas continuing for him.
"Which he can't. And his Grandfather isn't going to vouch for him either."
"I love the positivity fellas," Zac smirked at his friends, walking with Vanessa to a chair in the tiny kitchen that was available. "Do you trust me Princess?"
"With my life," she answered as he stole a kiss quickly before turning to the Knights waiting.
"Then we have a plan, don't we fellas?"
"Are you sure this is going to work, Prince?" Lucas questioned with a worried look on his face. He wanted this plan to work for the Prince and Princess's sake, but this plan could not have any mistakes. If it did, Vanessa would never be Zachary's.
"It has to, Lucas," Zac said pulling Vanessa up so he could hold her. "It has to."
"Okay so one more time. We sneak into the castle tonight and take Ashley out of there. We then tell convince her to pretend to fall in love with you, so that way Prince Samuel will get jealous and realize that he cannot marry Princess Vanessa and he needs to follow his heart. Are you sure your brother has such strong feelings for a woman he has just met?" Corbin asked looking over at the Prince. He was putting a lot of faith in someone that not many in his kingdom trusted. How was he to know that Prince Samuel did not want to win Princess Vanessa anymore. His heart had been stolen by the beautiful, young blonde who definitely could hold her own against the Prince. He was just as against the marriage as his younger brother was, however he did not choose such drastic measures to make sure the it did not go through.
"We saw my brother and Ashley, he has strong affection for her and I think he will fight for her. If we convince him to fight for her, my father might see that he could have both his sons marry the women they love and finally have the kingdoms united. My father must see that," he knew that if this plan did not work he would have to tell both parents that Vanessa was no longer pure. He and her had broken her vow of chastity and she was his now, in more ways then one.
"But Zac, what happens if this doesn't work," Vanessa said with tears now forming in her eyes. She could not lose the one she loved. Her life would not be the same without him in it. She too was thinking of telling her parents she lost her virginity. That was the only way to make sure that Zachary would be hers. However she was hoping that his plan would work and she would not have to disgrace her family name.
"It will, I know Sam," Zac said giving her a quick peck on the lips. "And I know he want to see me unhappy. I am his little brother. He will do what is right. He has to do what is right." And with that the three men began draw out how the two knights would steal Ashley from her room in the castle. The guards would need to be distracted, the horses would need to be quiet and fast, and Ashley would need to cooperate with them.
Vanessa pulled Zachary back into the room once the four had planned and gotten every part of the plan down and understood it. She was more than worried about this plan and was having way more doubts than she let on. "Zac..." she started to pace in front of him when he stopped her. "What if this doesn't work? What if Ashley, good Lady as she may be, doesn't see the point in this, what if..."
"Ssshhh," Zachary hushed her as he put his finger to her lips and cupped her face. "No more what if's."
"But..." she was silenced with a sweet kiss on her lips. Pulling away from him her frame, Zachary looked at her fully. There was seriousness in her eyes. "Zac, I just need to know this is going to work. What if it doesn't though? What then?"
Zachary took a step back, sitting beside her on the bed as she got up again and faced him, her hands running up and down his arms to his shoulders. "I don't know Vanessa, but I will tell you this," he took her one hand in his and kissed it with love, "I don't plan on failing. I love you."
He looked back up into her eyes and felt her slide into his frame more. Her kisses were feverish, passionate and Zachary wanted nothing more than to have her right then and there, making sure that he washed away any doubt that she had in her being. But his Knights were right beyond the room and just from their first time alone, he knew she could scream if she wanted to.
"Vanessa," he said her name breathlessly, "my Knights are..."
"Outside, I know," she smiled into his lips, looking down at him as he pulled her down on the bed and played with the buttons on the side of the dress she was wearing. "I love you too."
As his kisses began to trail down her body, the dress started to become tight. Zac shifted his weight on top of her so he could carefully unbutton her dress, but it was already too late. The buttons had already popped off and all he needed to do know was slide the silky material off of her body. But Prince Zachary was not going to make this easy on her, he loved to tease. He slid the dress of her body as slowly as possible, kissing and sucking her skin as it became newly exposed. He could feel her chest rising and falling quickly, muffling screams with her hand over her mouth. She left out a loud moan and quickly flipped Zachary around, it was now her turn. She gave him the same treatment as she unbuttoned his shirt. She rubbed her hands up and down his chest and abs before she moved to his neck. She trailed kisses up to his lips and then whispered, "Two can play your game," and before she knew it Zac was back on top. This time there was no teasing as they became one, rocking back forth, trying their best to make as little noise as possible.
Zachary and Vanessa finally got out of bed as the sun was setting. The knights had fallen asleep from boredom waiting for night to fall. "Corbin, Lucas..." Zac yelled as he was getting dress. The two woke up grabbing there swords ready to attack before they realized they were still in the safe house. "We should leave soon the longer Vanessa stays away from home the more in trouble I will be."
The three rode off as quietly as possible, leaving Vanessa behind in the house. She did not like that all she could do was wait, but she was not about to jeopardize the plan. Pacing back and forth, Vanessa was desperately trying to come up with a way to help her one love.
Ashley sat next to Monique, waiting for any word on the Princess' whereabouts or even any word on what Samuel was doing.
She would not admit it yet, but she was sweet on the Prince and was sure he was sweet on her as well. After that kiss in the garden.....and the dining hall......and the library this morning, she was more than sure. Sighing next to Monique, Ashley pushed herself out of the chair and went to the window of the Princess' room. The two had camped out in her room ever sense the Kings orders and Ashley was bored and anxious all at once. For once, she wished Samuel would just think with his heart instead of his head. His track record was exactly clean.
Peering out into the darkening sky, she could only dream of a life like this. It was picturesque and she could easily get used to it. But dreaming wasn't worth anything. At least that's what her father had told her long ago.... "Owww," she winced as she looked down to see the end of a rope slide down the slanted sill below her.
"My Lady, be so kind and hang on to the rope next time," Sir Lucas yelled up in a hushed tone and Monique put down the dress she was making to come and look at the happenings outside.
"Oh, Prince Zachary!" She yelped and pointed towards the Prince as he joined his Knights at the landing below the Princess' room. "Where have you been? Where is Vanessa?"
"Meet us in the East Wing and I shall tell you," he shouted up.
Monique looked towards Ashley for a moment and then nodded her head. "Give us ten minutes!"
Quietly Monique opened the door and found the guard that was supposed to be there gone. She knew they didn't have much time so she signaled for Ashley to run out of the room and hide behind the statue up ahead. Once the door was closed the girls quickly ran to the East Wing and threw the window open. Prince Zachary and his two knights made their way to edge of the window to begin explaining the plan to the two women.
"Forgive me Prince, but do you think your brother will fight for me? I mean I hope he will, but he seems to follow your Father's orders," Ashley whispered out the window. "And does Princess Vanessa know of this plan! I cannot pretend of anything unless you are sure she is okay with it. I owe her to much."
"Of course I told her," Zac replied quickly glancing around at the two knights who were watching for any guards. "If at first he doesn't fight for you, I think my two men here will convince him. I know my brother and he wants you not my Princess."
Monique who close enough to listen to the plan, but was watching for any guards walking towards the East Wing, ran up to Ashley, "We must go now," she panted with a panic look on her face. They would need to think of a cover up fast or get out of the East Wing.
"Okay, I shall be bringing the Princess back tonight. Remember Ashley we must be believable. My brother is has a good heart, despite what the kingdom might think of him. He will do what is right," and with that Zachary and the two knights disappeared into the black of night. Soon they would return to the castle.
Vanessa was pacing the floor of the small house. She was convinced that the plan would not work and she would be doomed forever to marry Samuel and live an unhappy life. She looked out the window for the 52nd time hoping to see 3 horses riding up the hill towards the cabin but alas, there was nobody outside. This was driving her crazy! She sat down in a chair only to stand up again. She couldn't sit still. Just as she was about to give up and go to bed, she heard a horse's neigh in the distance. She ran up to the windows and saw the prince and 2 knights riding up the hill. The Princess opened the door of the house and began to run in their direction.
"What happened!?" she yelled. "Did they agree to the plan?" She soon learned what had happened and shortly, they were all on their way back to the palace.
Meanwhile, Ashley and Monique were preparing themselves for breakfast. It was only 3 am but since they couldn't sleep, they decided to get ready. Ashley chose a navy gown that she believed Samuel would enjoy seeing her in. Just incase the plan didn't work, she wanted some reassurance that at least she looked good. And Monique wanted to catch a certain big-haired knights’ attention.
The Princess, Prince and knights arrived just before breakfast. Vanessa led them back to her chamber where Ashley and Monique were. They all got ready to set the plan in action. Vanessa placed her hand on Zachary's cheek and looked at him lovingly. She wanted nothing more than to go with him and marry him and him alone, but that was not the plan. Sneaking in a quick kiss from his lips, she sighed as his arms enveloped her in hug.
The four beside them looked away as they felt they were invading on a private moment. "They are so in love," Ashley muttered, hoping and praying Samuel felt the same way about her as Zachary did for Vanessa.
"They are," Monique agreed and looked towards the Knight with more hair than the youngest Princess, who had more than enough to call herself Rapunzel. "Gives the rest of us hope that there's someone like that for every one of us."
Sir Corbin smiled softly at her and cleared his throat, knowing the time was now if they were to do anything. "Zac, let's go. It's time."
The Princess rushed over to Ashley and hugged her tight. "I have so much to thank you for. Are you sure this is okay with you? I don't want to force you into anything, unlike our parents are making us do."
"Vanessa, it is I who has to thank you. You have given me so much in such a short time. I will be forever greatful for it. And yes, you two are so much in love and no one or nothing should break that apart."
"Are we ready?" Zachary approached the girls and held out his arm for Ashley to take. "Remember, stay by Monique and Corbin.
"I love you," he told Vanessa, slipping in a wink that made her blush.
Ashley took in a deep breath and nodded. This was it. This was the moment when Samuel had to decide. Heart or head. And she was more than ready. "Ready."
Lucas and Corbin nodded to the guards as they opened the doors into the royal quarters where both families had congregated. "Father!" Zachary called out, grabbing everyone's attention.
"Father, I have great news!" He beamed and then looked down at Ashley, "I have found my bride." Ashley did her best to act the part, she had a great smile on her face and went to grab Zac's hand. Vanessa did her best as well to keep her composure, it wasn't that she was angry at Ashley or Zac, she just wanted to be the one that was holding his hand. In time she knew everything would be okay, she hoped it would be at least. "Father, I would like Lady Ashley to be my wife," Zac said bowing down in front of his Father to show respect. He then took Ashley's hand and kissed the back of it. Zac sure did know how to charm a woman. He was so dashing as he continued to talk to his father about how he was wrong to take Vanessa and that he should have listened to his parents. It took everything in Vanessa not to jump on him right there. And out of the corner of his eye he could Samuel speechless.
"I am glad that you finally came to your senses. Samuel and Vanessa will be have a wonderful life together and lead both the kingdoms happily when the time comes. Come here Vanessa welcome to the family," King David said taking her hand and handing it off to Samuel. Samuel didn't know what to make of what was happening. He wasn't processing that the love of his life was now marrying his brother. How did the all happen? He thought Ashley loved him, not Zac. Once again Zac got what he wanted!
Samuel was infuriated.
"But Father, King Greg..." Samuel stammered. He was fighting with himself now, should he refuse to marry Vanessa or should he fight for Ashley. He needed time to think this out, but that was something his parents were not going to give him.
"Now that Vanessa and Samuel are engaged, I don't see why Zachary and Ashley cannot get married tonight. I do not want my younger son's marriage to get overshadowed by the joining of the kingdoms. Zachary, tonight you will become a married man and then in a few days, your brother will as well." Both parents were now joining in hugs.
After a few minutes, Zachary, Ashley, Vanessa, Samuel and the younger people in the room turned around to leave. Once again Ashley and Zachary walked out hand in hand, while Vanessa and Samuel walked as they were two strangers. Come on Samuel, fight for your girl, Zac thought trying to will his brother to fight.
Once Samuel turned the corner and walked towards his room, Zac unlinked his hand from Ashley and grabbed Vanessa from behind. She gasped as she felt two strong arms pull her into a room. "Zac!" she squealed, knowing what he had in mind. "What if we get caught!" He had pulled her into the library and lucky for them the door had locks.
"I don't plan on it," he said locking the door. He then wrapped his arms around her stomach just wanting to hold her, "You look beautiful." He whispered kissing her neck and shoulder pulling her dress off of her shoulder. She leaned back into his chest knowing she was safe in his arms.
"I need you." She turned herself around in his arms and kissed him with all the passion she felt. "Now..."
Samuel paced in the stargazer's liar, pacing the floor, trying to find an explanation for what just happened a half hour before.
He wanted this, didn't he? Samuel looked up to the sky that was warming up to the day, a light shade of yellow mixing with the stars of the sailor's and knew what he wanted....but he didn't want his brother to win.
"Prince Samuel," a lady’s voice beckoned his attention as he turned around and faced the quiet Lady in Waiting. "Can I borrow your ear for a mere second? I promise I will not hold you up," she bowed as she approached the Prince.
"Why not, what have you for me Lady?" Samuel approached the Asian beauty as she sat beside him on one of the lounges.
"I have an opinion and I would like you to hear it. But I am not a Lady, but a Seer and I can see your confusion. The answer is in your heart, Samuel, not your head."
"A Seer, eh? The last Seer that walked in my presence was taken to the Yundot," he informed her and she shivered. The Yundot Forest was not where anyone would want to go. It was horrid and full of creatures unknown to man...ones that would tear your heart out in a second and there was no escaping the land.
"But kind Prince, that is not you any more. Not since a certain blonde Lady graced your presence," the Seer paused, laying her hand on top of his folded ones for comfort. "She has seeped into your heart and there is no getting rid of her. You have fallen in love."
Meanwhile the plans for the wedding continued. "The Garden is a perfect site for our wedding Zachary! I can not wait to be married to you!" Ashley squealed at the younger Princes' suggestion, going along with the plan as planned. It had been two days since their announcement and nothing was happening on Samuel's end and it was frustrating her to no end and to the sweethearts hearts as well.
"I'm so glad you like it, my Lady. Shall we have it at sunset?"
/"You have fallen in love. You have fallen in love."/The oldest Prince could not get those words out of his head. Love? Yeah right. Love didn't exist. Pretty people existed. Crushes existed. But love? This was pushing it. But then how come every time he thought of Ashley marrying Zachary, it made him want to puke? He shook his head and continued walking down the halls. He had no idea where he was going but he hoped it was somewhere he could think. Luckily, his auto-pilot led him to the garden. He sat down at a bench, his elbow rubbing against some roses. "Stupid love," he muttered. Why was he feeling like this? This wasn't like him. Suddenly, he heard a noise in the background.
"I can not wait to be married to you!"
"I'm so glad you like it, my Lady."
Samuel stood up to see what was happening. A few yards away, Ashley, Zachary, Vanessa, and all the parents were planning the wedding. He saw the smile on Ashley's face. He saw her hair blowing in the slight autumn breeze. He saw the way she blushed when she saw something she liked. What was he talking about? Love did exist. And he was experiencing it right now.
Standing up, he walked over to where the people were gathered. He walked straight up to Zachary and Ashley, pushed Zac aside, and gave Ashley the most passionate kiss he had ever given anyone. It lasted a good 2 minutes. When it was over, he turned to his father. "I'm going to marry the Lady Ashley. I love her."
As his father's jaw dropped, no body noticed the youngest prince scoot on over to the blushing Princess Vanessa and give her hand a squeeze of triumph.
"Finally," the blonde shouted hitting her soon to be husband. "What took you so long?"
"My head," Samuel said looking down at his feet. "But that won't happen again," he said quickly kissing her again. "Nope, never again."
"Well what just happened?" King David finally spoke up. "I thought that Zac loved..." he stopped seeing his youngest son's arm holding Princess Vanessa's stomach. He could see they were both just content in each others arms. He now realized he was wrong. He had forced the wrong son to get married to Vanessa and without Samuel acting they both might've made a mistake. "...Vanessa. I am so sorry son."
"Don't worry Father, I had taken matters into my own hand. I knew Sam would turn around," he said kissing Vanessa on the top of my head. "And you doubted me, Princess," he whispered so only she could hear.
"I think a double wedding sounds good, don't you King Greg," King David asked.
"My stomach is doing somersaults," Lady Ashley admitted amidst a room full of fluffy dresses and girls waiting to walk down the long aisle made for her wedding. It truly was what her father would call a shotgun wedding - fast and long lasting. Ashley's father was a peculiar one, for sure, but it didn't seem to bother her much. He was always inventing things in his head, the 'shotgun' being one of them...even though he hadn't started on an invention of his in years. Ashley twirled in the mirror and watched as Lady Monique and the soon to be Princess Vanessa Efron came to her side. "And thinking about the house in the country, the children that will come, the pets....the responsibilities as his wife....not calming me down! Help me. What am I doing?" Her eyes went wide as the two finally sat her down on the lounge.
"Relax, Ashley. Everything will be fine," Vanessa reassured her.
"How do you know? What if...what if he stands me up, doesn't show? What if I forget the vows? What if I forget the ring!"
"Sit down woman," Monique pulled her back down as she was about to flee the room. "Breathe deep, but not too deep and listen. Close your eyes," Monique told her and she did, "imagine that house you just spoke of. Imagine you, in a flowing dress holding the flowers from the fields you had hand picked just moments before. Imagine the Prince standing at the end of the field and his smile calling him to you. Do you see that?"
"I do," Ashley breathed out, her heartbeat back to normal.
"See, two most important words you will ever say," Monique smiled as Ashley opened her eyes back up. "Just as long as by the end of the day, you marry the man of your dreams, then that is all you need."
"Okay, when did you get so inspirational?" Vanessa asked, as the Queens came into the room and tried to help with anything and everything they got their hands on. "Okay, damage control?"
"Damage Control. You take your mother, I'll take Queen Starla and we'll meet back here in ten."
"Mom go get ready, we got this!" Vanessa pleaded. Both mom's in here at one time was only going to cause damage.
"My Queen, why don't you go see if Samuel is ready? We surely can handle this little details here," Monique said flashing her best smile.
"Okay, we are leaving," Queen Gina finally said walking out the door with Starla, "But tomorrow you won't be able to get rid of me so easily."
Both mothers had went back to their respective rooms to get ready for Ashley and Samuel's wedding. They were going to get married a few days before Vanessa and Zachary, since joining the kingdom would be cause for a huge celebration. "It's almost time," Vanessa whispered to Ashley grabbing hold of her flowers and handing them to the beautiful bride. "Time to become an Efron," she winked encouragingly. And with that her and Monique were off to walk down the beautiful aisle for the wedding, which was covered with white and red rose petals.
I can do this, Ashley thought to herself, He looks so handsome. With one look at him up ahead by the priest, she knew she was ready. She had found her happy ending and it was with him.
The walk up the aisle seemed to take forever for Samuel. He just wanted to marry her already. He was so glad his brother had come up with a plan to make him realize how stupid he was acting. This was right where he should be, almost beside the wonderful, blonde woman who had captured his heart. Who made this aisle so long! Is everything in slow motion? Samuel kept thinking until she finally reached him. He took her hand and slowly they preceded forward towards the priest.
The ceremony went on without a hitch, even both mothers were crying as the two exchanged their heartfelt vows. And once the rings were exchanged the ceremony concluded. Samuel pulled Ashley close to him and kiss her gently before swinging her around in his arms. "Hi, Mrs. Efron," he whispered in her ear. They walked down the aisle which now seemed all to short and happily went to have a feast with the guests.
The last to leave the garden after the ceremony were Zac and Vanessa. They had the biggest smile on their faces possible looking at what they would go through in a few days. "I can't wait," Zac said slipping his hand into hers. "Though there won't be so much excitement for the night," he laughed as she hit him. It wasn't possible with her. Everytime they made love it was like the first time, passion, hunger, love. He would never be complaining at least.
"It's a good thing, I won't be missing much," Vanessa replied running knowing she was in for it.
When he finally caught her he grabbed her by her waist and pulled him close to her their lips almost touching, "You're lucky we have to go celebrate right now or else I might've just shown you what you are missing."
“Attention everyone! I’d like to make a toast,” Vanessa stood up and tapped her glass lightly with her fork. The after party of the wedding was held in the dining hall. Ashley and Samuel were seated at the head of the long table with Vanessa and Zachary on one side and the kings and queens on the other. Everyone became silent as Vanessa tapped her glass again.
“I’ve known Ashley for a very short amount of time but the minute I saw her, I knew she was perfect for Samuel. They even each other out perfectly and, well quite frankly, they just fit. I hope everyone can find the happiness I know they are experiencing right now. And now,” she said, beaming down at Zac. “Here’s to true love.”
“To true love,” the rest of the table, filled with lords and ladies, agreed.
After dining on the delicacies set for them, the newlyweds hit the dance floor. Watching from afar, Vanessa could tell they were in love by the way Ashley smiled when Samuel spoke, and the way they got lost in each others eyes. Suddenly, someone tapped on her shoulder.
“May I have this dance,” Prince Zac asked, extending his hand.
Vanessa giggled. “You may.”
She let him lead her to the dance and then he took both of her hands, and soon they both found perfect rhythm to the slow song that the court musicians were currently playing.
“I can’t wait ‘till it’s our wedding night,” he whispered into her ear.
"Can you imagine what it will be like Zachary? I can hardly wait, it's going to be so beautiful!" The Princess flew from his embrace as she went to be very much like a leprechaun amongst the Royal Garden that was only in it's bare essentials for the extravagant wedding that would take place tomorrow. "Can you , Zac? I can even see your mother walking down the aisle so elegantly with your father...." she turned back to face him with a beaming smile on her face. "I am so excited!"
"I can see that," he laughed at her, brushing her hair away from her face so he could see her glittering eyes. "Why are you so excited, my Princess?"
"I think you know why, my Prince. I'm getting married to the man of my dreams!" the Princess giggled, running away from the Prince to make it a game for him to win.
He watched her run for a minute. He could hardly believe that this plan all worked out. And he had found his true love in the process of it. Life, at this moment in time, could not get better.
"Come on, I'm not waiting for you forever," the Princess caught his attention once again and he ran towards her as she was at the entrance to the stables. "You finally made it," she smiled into his frame as he wrapped his arms around her.
"I finally did," their noses brushed each others' and he gently kissed her lips. "Where was that secret ladder of yours?"
"Over..." kiss "...there," she got out before he backed her into a post. He was now working on her neck, kissing it in all the right spots to make her moan. "Up," she managed to say and before she knew it she was being pushed up the ladder.
"Now where were we," Zac asked pulling her down on top of him. He went to unbutton her dress; he realized once again her buttons had come off. Her dress was clinging to her body for dear life, knowing it would be ripped off soon. "I am going to have to by you some better dresses," Zac laughed before sliding the fabric off of her and continuing his exploration of her body with his hands. She quickly took off his shirt and before she knew it they were naked.
"I say forget the clothes," she replied breathlessly, holding onto his shoulders for dear life. A girl could only take so much before she needed to be satisfied. With one moan of his name he flipped her onto her back and gently thrusted into her. She once again moaned with pleasure and threw her head back leaving her neck exposed. Zac was going to take full advantage of this now gently kissing the side of her neck and he continued to move rhythmically with her. Their bodies were always in sync with each other.
Over the next few days they had made it a routine to come to her secret spot. She knew now though, it wasn't her only hers anymore, it was theirs' now and it would be special forever.
Vanessa woke up bright and early on her wedding day. She could not contain all her excitement. Today was the day! She went over to her balcony to take see the sun shining brightly. Her head turned when she heard a knock on her door. "Who is it?" she asked walking towards the sound.
"Guess?" he smirked.
"Zac you are not allowed to see me today! Not yet at least," she said into the door.
"But I didn't even get my morning kiss," Zac said with a pout. "I can't go on without that."
"Zac," Vanessa began to whisper knowing he was just as close to the door as she was, "Since you won't be getting your morning kiss today, I promise I'll make it up to you tonight." And with that she felt him slid down the door. She definitely knew how to tease him.
This was it. This was the moment she had dreamed about all her life. She turned around and looked herself over in the mirror, wanting to make sure she looked perfect.
“Vanessa,” somebody called her voice.
“In here,” she replied. She was in her chambers, putting the final touches on her wedding dress. The ladies and maids had offered to stay, but she wanted to spend the last few minutes before she got married alone.
Ashley walked in, looking radiant in her sky blue bridesmaids dress. “Awww, look at you. You’re absolutely gorgeous!”
Vanessa blushed, but at the same time hoped it was true. And it was. Her hair was pinned up with a few curls hanging down, her make-up was applied carefully and prestigiously, on her neck sat a stunning diamond necklace that her mother had worn when she had gotten married. And her dress was phenomenal. It was strapless and flowed into a silky train that 6 bridesmaids would help carry. She was all-in-all breathtaking. Monique came in. She was about to say something when suddenly her jaw dropped.
“What?” Vanessa asked nervously. “Is my make-up messed up? Is something wrong?!”
“Zac is gonna go crazy when he sees you,” was all Monique said.
Vanessa smiled, thankful that nothing was wrong.
“I’m serious,” Monique continued. “Are you sure you want to wear that? I’m just saying that there is a 99.9 % chance that he’ll rip that thing off of you and start making out with you in front of everyone!”
All three of the girls giggled when suddenly, Queen Gina came in.
“Honey, you look spectacular.” she said in a kind and motherly voice. “Your father is waiting in the garden to escort you. Are you ready?”
The Princess took a deep breath. “I’m ready.”
The garden was illuminated so the whole world could see and Prince Zachary could not stand to wait any longer. Fidgeting in his spot at the end of the aisle, he only took one look at his mother to know she was about as nervous as he was. He didn't know what he was nervous about....more anxious than anything. All he wanted to do was slip a ring on her finger, kiss her with passion and take her back up to their secret spot again. But, this was their wedding and it should be taken to full advantage. His Princess wanted a smaller one and that's what she got. Instead of 500 kingdoms being invited to quite possibly the social event of the year, it was just their families and a few friends.
As the music started, his head whipped up to watch the Ladies in Waiting travel down the elongated garden aisle lined with the most perfect violets and gardenias and only his brother's hand on his shoulder relaxed him a bit. Prince Zachary looked back to Samuel, with a smirk on his face, they both looked back down the aisle as Sir Lucas and Corbin escorted Lady Monique and the new Duchess Ashley down the way to the pulpit. "Just breathe, Zac, one breath," Samuel reminded his brother and he tried, but all was lost as he saw beyond Queen Gina and Princess Stella to see King Gregory with his first born daughter, his princess, Vanessa.
She was a breath of fresh air as the music started to commence and she stepped alongside her father, not leaving the Princes' sight for a second. Her smile was intoxicating and the Prince echoed it, in fact, he didn't even hear anything else in the world except for her light giggle as the King softly placed her hand in his own and they faced the priest, ready to be married, for a life that would surely not disappoint.
The cheers and hollers were still echoing in the Princes' ears as his wife, how he loved to call her that now, came to pull him up for another dance that was one of many of the night. "But my feet..."
"My husband, do you not want to please your wife?" the Princess raised her eyebrow at him as his arms enveloped her close to him.
"I thought I have been doing that....several times in fact," he reasoned with her.
"Very true, as you will again tonight and for every day of our lives together. But, your wife, my husband, wants to dance," she gave him a smile only meant for him and he took it, kissing her lightly amongst the small crowd surrounding them. "I love you, my husband."
"And I, my Princess, my wife, will always love you. Do not ever doubt that."