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Checkmate Ch.7 Whole Hearted Beginnings

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I wake up to feel Nena’s slow breathing on my cheek. The air is warm around us as the morning sun rises above the horizon. It smells like a morning of life as though everything is coming into place. The birds fly above us without a care and I feel like were soaring up there right beside them to never come back down. With everything that’s happened, it would be nice to have a day of rest from all the fighting. For it to just be me and her for one day, even an afternoon if that’s all we can get. She needs the rest emotionally with what she’s been through.

N-“What are you thinking about?” I turn my head to the side to see her looking slightly up at me with a smile subtly placed between her cheeks. The sun is rising behind me and I can see the reflection in her eyes as it lights up her face.

R-“How much more beautiful the sunrise is when I watch it through your eyes.” I grin back at her and I can see her blush in the morning light. Her cheeks turn a lovely rose color as her eyes advert down for just a moment. I kiss her forehead affectionately and her eyes sparkle as they meet mine again. “Well we better get on our way. We still have quite some traveling ahead of us.”

N-“Yes your right I just hope today goes smoother than the others.” She starts to try and get up but I grab her shoulder with my arm that’s around her. “What?” She looks at me puzzled that I would say get up and then act opposite to my words in pulling her back.

R-“Why would you get up when you can kiss me?” I smile at her slyly and she is still perplexed but doesn’t resist my pull. We lean in and our lips meet ever so passionately. I feel the wind stir around us as it moves stronger and faster. I put my other arm around her compellingly as the wind begins to cyclone around us. It picks us off the ground as if we were flying and I pull my lips away. Her hair falls to her shoulders as she opens her eyes to find herself standing on the ground wrapped in my arms.

N-“Wow……but how?” Her eyes are wide in astonishment as we stand with the sun glowing around us.

R-“I’m starting to control it Nena. I’m beginning to realize how it all works and why things happen to us. If we can unlock these powers fully Nena… we’ll never have to worry about the Black Distance ever again.” Her mouth is agape as I explain to her enthusiastically about my newfound control.

N-“That’s good.” I can feel the coldness in her voice as she looks away from me.

R-“Hey Nena, what’s wrong?” I put my hand on her neck and rub her cheek with my thumb. I gently move her head back around to face me but she still won’t look up.

N-“I’m glad you can control your powers now I really am. It’s just… I wish you didn’t have to control them. I don’t want you to have to fight anymore.” Her voice grows grim every time she talks about me fighting.

R-“Hey now cheer up. Now that I can control my powers more this war will be over before you know it you’ll see.” I tilt her chin up and kiss her on the nose. She giggles and shakes her head as a smile returns to her face.

N-“You know I hardly even remember how it was before the war.” There’s a distant look in her eyes as she stares into the horizon.

R-“Well we have a long walk ahead of us through this plain how about I remind you.” I grab her hand in mine as we start to walk through the short grass of the plain.

N-“I’d like that.” She lays her head on my shoulder as we walk. I put my left arm around her and grab her right hand in mine. I begin the story of where this all began.





Its two years earlier just a month before my eighteenth birthday when I was to be crowned King of the land of Red Time. We were in a prosperous time and at peace with all other kingdoms around. I was very anxious and even more nervous about my crowning ceremony. So I was down in my training field on the northwest corner of the courtyard practicing my fighting skills on a wooden dummy early in the morning. I block and parry back and forth as it spins around and around. Suddenly a light catches my eyes from the middle of the courtyard near the fountain. It appears an angel has sat down on the edge of the fountain. The air circulates around her as though she were the center of it all. The light seems to emanate rather than just reflected because she was the source. As I turn to look one of the planks spins and hits me in the back of the head. It knocks me to the ground and my world goes black as my eyes close.

I awake propped up against the courtyard walls. As my eyes open everything seems a little fuzzy at first as shapes slowly come into focus. I hear thumping back and forth and can see two figures standing in front of me. As my eyes clear I see one is the dummy and the other is the young girl I witness at the fountain earlier. I look down at my hands and see blood on them. I feel the back of my head but there is nothing wrong.

N-“Hey sleepy how you feelin?” I look up to see her leaning against the dummy smiling down at me. “Oh your head was bleeding when I came over and lifted it. I went to get bandages and came back and the wound was just gone somehow, crazy ha?”

R-“Yeah weird.” A look of amazement comes over me as I continue feeling the back of my head wondering how this could have happened. I know that blow should have done quite some damage and yet nothing. “You sure you saw a wound?”

N-“Yeah there was definitely blood coming from your head. I don’t know what happened to it though. I’m just glad your ok that was quite a hit.” Her voice sounded sincere as she sat down next to me. I don’t think she was just trying to play a practical joke on me about the blood. All well time for figuring that out later will come later. Right now I have a lovely figure next to me who I know nothing about.

R-“So who do I have the pleasure of saving my life I guess?” I turn my head to her and offer my hand to shake.

N-“Well I wouldn’t say saved your life my prince but my name is Nena.” She smiles shyly as she shakes my hand.

R-“Well Nena thank you very much. So where did you come from?” She seems to be around my same age with dark black hair emerald green eyes.

N-“I come from one of the outer villages that was attacked and destroyed by the Black Distance king and his knights. My father went off to fight so it’s just me and my mother now.” Her voice drops as she stares at the floor in sadness.

R-“What! There is no war we have been at peace with the Black Distance for centuries and still are. You must be mistaken.” My mouth is agape from the words she has just said.

N-“No my prince the Black king has grown greedy and wants all our land for himself. He will kill everyone to get it too. How could you not know your kingdom was at war?” The mention of war causes sorrow in her voice.

R-“Surely my father would have told me if we were at war. I will ask him tonight but in any case I am sorry to hear about your father.” Confusion sweeps over me at this so called war that I have heard nothing about. Could it be just one battle that got overstated or are we really at war? Either way this girl is wonderful or I can’t seem to take my eyes off of her.

N-“Its ok hopefully the war will be short lived and over soon.” Her voice perks a little at the thought.

R-“Yeah im sure it will be my father will see to it.” I try to reassure her even though I’m not entirely confident all this is going on. “So what do you like to do?” I feel like even though I just met her I already know everything I need to about her.

N-“Honestly I just like to look up at the stars at night and wish we were so much bigger than all of this.” She looks up at the sky with a distant look in her eyes.

R-“Well you know the best place for star gazing at night is right next to the fountain in the middle of the courtyard. With the lights off it feels like you can see the entire night sky.” Our hands brush against each others and for a moment I feel a spark before we quickly pull away.

N-“Show me.” She says strongly.

R-“What?” I’m not sure what she's getting at.

N-“I don’t believe it’s the best place for star gazing so show me and I might believe you.” She almost demands what she says as if she knows I've already said yes.

R-“Um …ok sure. Meet me here tonight then at midnight and I’ll show you just how good of a spot it is.” I’m hesitant at first as to what I've just said but then a feeling of excitement rushes over me at the plans I just made. We sit there and talk for a couple hours all about our lives and where we come from. My family being royalty and hers being from one of the many small villages around. I know my parents would be mad to see me with her as they say it would hurt my status as a prince but for some reason I can’t pull myself away from her. She is doing most of the talking and even though I listen carefully I can barely hear what she says as I get lost in her emerald green eyes. The way her black hair lays upon her shoulder and every time a wind comes its seems she’ll fly away with it, leaving as quickly as she came. It grows dark now as we’ve lost track of time so we both rush to our respective quarters before were noticed to be gone.

As I run through the hallways past room after room I hear a noise come from one. I slow down and return to the edge of the doorway to hear what’s inside. I hear crying and talking from to voices. It’s my mother and father the king and queen. I peer in and can just see through the small crack that my mother is sitting on the side of the bed crying.

Q-“What are we going to do this has never happened before?”
K-“Don’t worry honey we’ll get through just like we always do.”
Q-“Why would the Black King do this he’s never attacked us before?”
K-“I don’t know he doesn’t want to negotiate. It’s just a complete takeover.”
Q-“We aren’t ready for this sort of thing; we don’t have the resources necessary to win.”
K-“Don’t say that we will survive. We have the heart of our people that will bring us through to the end.”
Q-“The heart of our people won’t be strong enough to save us this time my dear King.”

I step back from the door with my heart pounding out of my chest. The fighting with the Black King is real. Nena was telling the truth we really are at war. How could my father not tell me about this? Why would he want to hide it from me? I push in the door and barge into the room. They look at me in complete surprise and my mother wipes her eyes.

R-“Why didn’t you tell me about the war? I’m the prince of this kingdom I have a right to know.” My voice rises as I grow angry at them.

Q-“Son we can explain.” She gets up off the bed.

K-“No there's nothing to explain. We were doing what we had to too protect you prince Redwan. Now you will not speak to your parents this way.” He shouts back at me.

R-“If you were really trying to protect me you would have told me what’s going on!”

K-“I have every right to withhold that information from you and you are in no place to question me!” He steps forward as if to remove me from the room but I step toward him.

R-“I have a right as your son!” I put my finger on his chest.

K-“My son wouldn’t go off with that commoner in the courtyard!” My mother pleads with us to stop our yelling.

R-“I have the right to see whoever I want and you can’t stop me!” The mention to Nena makes my blood boil that he would bring her into this. I storm out of the room in anger and slam the door as I pass through. They don’t appear to try and follow. I peer through the window and look down towards the fountain. There is Nena sitting on the wall of the fountain, sparkling in the mirror of the water. I walk down and out my building towards the fountain. I come up behind her and sit down as quietly as I can. She dips her finger into the water and twirls it around causing ripples.

N-“You were right ya know. This is a great spot to watch the stars.” She turns her head to look at me as the moon is reflected in her eyes.

R-“I overheard my father talking about the war.” I drop my head in regret that I didn’t believe her in the first place.

N-“Its ok the war is far off from here. It will probably be over before it even reaches us.” She tries to comfort me as I had to her earlier today and even though I’m not sure her words are true I still find comfort in her voice.

R-“Yeah you’re probably right.” We sit there in the moonlight watching the sky as if it subtly speaks to us. When I look back over she's right next to me staring at me. At first I’m almost startled but I can’t seem to look away. Our eyes lock in what feels like a never ending moment. Slowly our heads move closer and closer until our lips embrace. I put my arms around her and feel an explosion of emotions. The heat grows intense but it encases my whole body. I pull my head back and look up to see the front castle walls in flames. There really was an explosion that I barely even noticed. “Oh…no.” That’s all I could say at the moment. She sees the fires reflection in my eyes and turns around.

N-“What’s happening?” We both jump up from the fountain and slowly move back from the intense heat of the flames.

R-“I think… we’re under attack.” I look to the sky as more flaming boulders fly into the castle around us.

N-“What do we do?!” She starts to panic as the kingdom seems to be falling down around us.

R-“Lets go to my father he’ll know what to do.” We make for the stairs up to my building. My heart races as I grab her by the hand and lead her there. Before we get to the stairs a boulder flies over my head straight into the buildings front wall. The top tower topples down as it ignites in flames. I stand there motionless as my home where my mother and father were sleeping is destroyed.

N-“Redwan!” She screams my name as the pieces of stone hit the ground around me. Smoke and dust rise all around and she loses sight of me. She continues to call my name and I snap out of my daze realizing the situation around me. I turn around to see a giant pile of rubble between me and Nena and before I know it I’m on the other side in front of her.

R-“Nena we have to go now!” She look back but I pull her hand to follow me towards the side walls. There's a secret door in a hollowed out piece of the wall. I open it and urge her to come in with me. “Come on Nena we need to go!” Explosions erupt all around us in the castle and I fear the next one will be all to close.

N-“What about my mother and everyone else in the castle?” She looks back at the fire reluctant to leave it all behind.

R-“Most are gone and if there are any survivors we’ll come back when we can. Right now we are this kingdoms best chance for survival.” I stretch out my hand to her through the doorway. “Do you trust me my princess?”

N-“Yes.” That’s all she says as her eyes light up and she grabs my hand. I pull her behind me through the hollowed out wall segment and out the other side. We run away from the castle into the woods behind. We stop and look back as our kingdom burns to the ground. “It’s really happening. The war is going to be a big one and we can’t stop it.”

R-“Yes we can Nena and we will stop it I promise.” I don’t really have a plan as of yet but I try and give her reason to keep going. “We better go before they find us. I think were gonna have a long journey ahead of us.” She takes my hand again and we walk away through the forest into the night.


. . .


By the time I finish my story were almost to the end of the plains. Were coming up to a small grouping of trees before the mountain.

R-“So how was that?” I look over at her to see her reaction to my story telling.”

N-“Aww that was great I loved your story. It was almost like I was there again not that it was a good day except for meeting you.” She giggles and swings around in front of me with her arms around me.

R-“Aww that was the good part for me too.” I lean my head down and kiss her softly on the lips. “You know what I realized though, when I was trapped behind those rocks I just thought about getting to you and all a sudden was there in front of you. I always wondered how it happened back than but now with my powers and everything I realize that was the start of them. Even from the first day I met you I could do unbelievable things.”

N-“Oh really ha so does that mean you can teleport?” She playfully moves around me I think she's lively after just walking all day.

R-“Actually I think I super jumped over the pile but maybe teleport could be in my arsenal somewhereeeeee!” As I walk into a pile of leaves they collapse and I fall into a deep whole as Nena watches helpless from above.





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