'Maybe Ethra is Mr. Geiger...' Cayla wonders, sitting on her soft green couch in her living room, taking a sip of her tea. She has been trying to figure out who this Ethra person is, if she even knows the person.
She left her friends company early that morning, claiming to be unwell, which was true, until she saw the cloaked figure again. She knew it was probably safer to just walk away, pretend she didn't see it, but her curiosity got the better of her so she followed it, down a dark ally way, from all her readings you'd think she would know better. When she looked down the ally way it seemed to have just disappeared, so she stepped into the ally way, discreetness completely obliterated. She walked down, despite the dark dampness, to the middle of the ally way, she looked behind her, nothing, then forward again, the cloaked figure just a few feet away.
She opens her mouth to talk to it, caution completely thrown to the wind. But instead of words coming out it's a small squeak when she sees the figure take out a knife from the inside of it's cloak. Next thing she knows she's against the wall that was on her right, cornered. It takes a step forward and then lunges at her, she just turns her head to the side, eyes closed tightly, expecting pain, or possibly death. But she hears the clang of metal against metal. She doesn't want to look, but she really wants to at the same time. She looked up and saw the most unlikely person to be around, ever. He fights off the cloaked figure then calls for guards. He managed to mark the figures right arm with a scar from the silver sword he holds, elegantly. The figure does escape before the guards arrive, seconds after, and Cayla just slides to the ground. Her heart pounding, face feeling flushed, so near death yet saved. And by a most unlikely suspect, a most unlikely person to have arrived and saved her.
Cayla now looks up from her tea and at the man with raven colored hair, green eyes, who is laughing with her parents currently. How is it that she was saved by the Prince? What was he even doing in the market place at the time? Didn't he have servants to go out and fetch things for him? Why is he saving her and not Catherine or Amanda, the beautiful ones? Whatever happened just hours before, she knows it's going to affect the future, possibly drastically.
“What a fun family you have,” He turns to Cayla, eyes sparkling, a grin playing on his lips, “Ame.”
Cayla froze and just stared at him, then she stood up, ignoring the tea cup as it falls and stains the green rug in the living room. The room seemed to spin a bit. The world seeming to have stopped, but the room kept going. How did he know about that name? She just stares at him before finally being able to speak.
“Wha-- What did you call me?” She asks, though it sounds more demanding than she thought it would, she even flinched at the way it sounded, and to the Prince!
“Ame.” he says again, looking at her oddly, “That is your name... right?”
“I--” She didn't have an answer for that, she couldn't tell him everything that happened, she couldn't do anything. She turned to her parents, who looked completely confused.
“That man, the other night, at the ball, called you that.” He explains slightly, though not very clearly. Couldn't he see they were tied up? That he was mocking them?
“That--- My.... My name...” Cayla found herself unable to speak proper sentences, her thoughts ran a mile a minute. She turns to the door way into the hallway and hurries out, to her favorite place to be. She paused momentarily on her way, in front of a small, wooden, round hall table, with a large blue vase printed oriental style and yellow flowers in it. She picks up her journal from behind the blue vase and then hurries out the back door, her loose blue dress flowing behind her.
She takes a breath of fresh air and closes the door behind her, then she scurries through the small garden to the large oak tree, and sits down under it on the stone bench that took her weeks to get her parents to buy. There were a few stepping stones around the garden, and in the middle, in front of Cayla, stood a cute fountain, simple and made of white marble. But after a moment the serene feeling of being in her garden dissipates, as she realizes she did something very, very rude to the Prince.
She sets her glasses down in her lap, rests her elbows on her knees, and places her head into her hands, completely embarrassed and feeling like such a fool. How could she, a lowly peasant, just stand up and leave in front of the heir to the throne?! She could lose her head! Or worse! She could lose her families wealth that has taken them years to accumulate! How could she? She was the worst person to live, ever. She continued to wallow in self pity when she felt someone sit down next to her, she didn't have to look at him to know who it was.
“... I'm sorry.” She says, on the verge of tears.
“No, I am sorry, I should have asked for your name properly, but I could have sworn-” Cayla cuts him off, to save him the trouble.
“I don't know.” He looks at her, she removes her hands form her face and sits up straight, taking a deep, shuttering breath, which makes her blush because she now looks like a wimp. “I don't know my name or who I am anymore.” Everything is still, he waits for her to continue, “Ever since that incident, the one you saw... sort of, with that man, and he called me by a name I use only when I write, I haven't known who I was, am, or going to be.” More silence follows, but it's not awkward.
“Shall I help?” He asks, as if it was the most normal thing in the world, a Prince asking to help a peasant.
“How? Ask me to marry you and I become Queen? That is a title, not a name.” He smiles at this.
“Not what I had in mind, but that is something for me to think about.” He stands up, takes a few steps forward then he spins around and faces her. He pulls his royal sword out of it's sheath and holds it straight up and down, the tip of the blade towards the sky. He proceeds to kneel to the ground and speaks.
“I offer you my sword, body, soul, and mind to use however you see fit. I will always come when you call, I will always answer your questions, I will solve all puzzles you need to be solved. I offer my body, soul, sword, and mind for your services, for your needs or wants, for you.” He bows his head, as if she were a princess and him the knight. She looks at him a moment then can't help herself. Cayla quickly puts on her glasses, opens her journal to a blank page and starts writing as fast as she possibly can. And although he is curious about what she is doing, he keeps his head down, kneeling.
“... Protection?” She asks the one worded question.
“My body as protection, as your human shield, my soul for deeds you cannot do but must be done, my mind for whatever wisdom it may hold, and my sword for ridding this world of evils you see but others do not.” He says so nobly, never moving. She starts writing again then stands up, her pale blue gown falling a bit when her legs straighten.
“Rise, noble Prince, I accept.” She says, as if she were among the nobles ranking.
“I believe knight would be the better word, Princess.” The Prince rises, smiling at her.
“It would be, but I am no princess.” She smiles slightly, looking into his eyes as one should when talking to another, but probably shouldn't when talking to royalty, it could be considered defiance.
“But you are just as beautiful as the ones in the fairy tales, and you have the most interesting eyes...” The Prince trails off a bit and uses his hands to cup her face, he continues to stare into her hazel like orbs, “One moment they are blue, the next green and the next a silver or white.”
“Is this a good thing or is it a bad thing?” She asks, trying to ignore the butterflies that came along with his hands touching her.
“It would be hard to properly describe your eyes in a story or a love poem or song, but they are very unique. It is a compliment, a 'good thing'.” He explains, taking his hands away and watches her blushing reaction.
“Shouldn't you be completely proper and what not?” Cayla asks, looking away for a moment, trying to rid herself of the weird butterflies, but asking to change the subject tends to lead it back to the subject before, whether she liked it or not.
“I am, maybe it is you who is not.”
“I probably am.” Cayla pauses for a moment, a realization coming upon her, “What is your name?” There is a small pause of silence then the prince laughs, a harmonious sound.
“I brought you home, introduced myself to your parents, you being right beside me, and now you ask me my name?” He continues to laugh, “Were you somewhere else? Did I imagine you standing next to me?” He calms down a bit and grins at the young girl in the pale blue dress, who is now blushing as red as the roses in the garden.
She was in a daze at the time and didn't hear anything until he called her Ame. She glanced at her journal, half hoping she had writing it down somehow. He followed her gaze and snatched up the journal, thumbing through the many poems, short stories, and lyrics. When he finally came upon the latest entry, of a girl and a knight, the knight kneeling in front of the girl, pledging to give himself to her.
“I was next to you...” Cayla hesitates, watching him read, “Physically, but my mind was... else where.”
He continued to read, the lines altered slightly but the same structure as what he had said just before. The setting is in a garden much like the one they are in now, though it's more obvious that the Princess is in love with the Knight, making the Prince wonder if that is how Ame-- or his Princess feels. The time is more like evening, not the twilight it is now. The girl has long, cascading golden hair and emerald green eyes, the knight sounds an awful lot like the prince himself. The Prince cannot help but smile at the resemblance, she even mentioned that the 'Knight' is handsome.
“You really do not know what my name is?” The Prince looks up from the journal and at Cayla, who shakes her head no.
“No, I really don't know it. I just know you're the prince, that's all.” Inwardly she adds 'And that your handsome'.
“My name is Dante Micheal Rowan, current heir to the throne.” He bows to Cayla who in return curtsies.
“I would tell you my name, but me being unsure what it is now...” She trails off, silence takes over for a moment.
“Would you like to go to the ball with me?” Dante asks suddenly. Cayla looks taken aback with the sudden question.
“I--... It's your ball isn't it? Shouldn't you be asking the most beautiful girl-- woman-- lady there?”
“Are you going?”
“I think so, yes.”
“Then I already have.” He smiles at, her cheeks turn red.
“No! NO!” She shouts still blushing, but looking very defiant, “You need to ask Amanda or Catherine! Not me, never me.” He frowns, confused and hurt.
“Why never you?”
“Be--- because... Amanda has this great dress she finished the other day and Catherine is SO beautiful and... and... just not me.” Cayla finishes lamely, unable to find an actual reason.
“--- So?” He smiles, chuckling a bit.
“SO!--- I refuse your offer.” Cayla turns curtly to the side, arms crossed.
“....” Dante thinks for a moment, deciding what to do about the 'lovely' predicament Cayla has put him in.
“Do you know a man named Ethra?” Cayla asks out of the blue, turning towards Dante again, looking at him.
“Is this the name of the man who holds your heart hostage?”
“--- 'hostage'?-- No, um... it's just... someone I must know about... for personal reasons.”
“... The name does not ring a bell, but I will ask around for him, see if anyone knows him, or the name at least, and knows where to find him.”
“Thank you!” Cayla says, barely able to resist the urge to toss her arms around Dante in an embrace. Instead she smiles happily. Dante watches her again, still holding the journal and decides what action must be taken.