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Fight for me
She descended the stairs as quickly as she could without falling over her dress. Why had she chosen her heaviest dress to wear to that stupid ball? She had made a fool of herself in front of everyone at the ball. In front of the prince, even the mimes silently laughed until they could not breathe anymore. She rounded the last twist of stairs and froze. She heard voices. One in particular, she squeezed her eyes shut trying to block out those concerned blue eyes eying her in the ballroom. She opened her eyes and continued toward the voices. She suddenly felt fingers wrap around her wrist. She looked up about ready to scream but when she saw his reassuring smile she softened. He had been her friend for years but Connor was so much more than her friend. He was someone she could rely on, someone who knew exactly what she hid behind her green eyes. He was the only one who knew. The only one who could understand. He could relate. This was the boy she had grown up with. He now led her away from the voices, down the dark corridor to the outside walls of the palace. He looked back every so often to make sure she was keeping up with him. He saw she was distracted and tried to pull her out of it when they stopped for a while. He hugged her, smiled his goofiest smile, he even pulled the corners of her mouth up to. But nothing was working. She was covered in red wine. Poor Anabeth. That stupid prince and his stupid ball. She hadn’t deserved for this to happen to her. She was so hard working never complained even when those awful men whistled and said the most vulgar remarks.
She worked as a nurse in the king’s army since she was ten. She had grown to be a beautiful young woman and was the kindest girl you could ever meet. But alas the voices came once again, but they were yelling after her. She shot a concerned look at Connor but he was gone. He had hidden behind the statue in the center of the garden. The prince came bounding out of the dark and had spotted Annabeth across the garden. “Good evening ma’am” said the prince kissing her hand.
“I’m afraid I have had better” Anabeth said withdrawing her hand from the prince. He smiled at her then.
“You ran away from the party before I could ask if you were alright” his eyes sparkled the most beautiful brown Annabeth had ever seen.
“n-no I-I’m not well” Annabeth stuttered.
“ You were crying when you left. Were you hurt badly when you fell?”
“No. I was crying because everyone in that stupid ballroom saw me trip on my ridiculously long gown and fall onto the server who was holding a dozen glasses of red wine, which as you can obviously see, I’m drenched in!” Annabeth knew she could be imprisoned and hanged for disrespecting the crown but she didn’t care. Was he really so thick in the head that he couldn’t see why she would cry after that?
“Well I can certainly see you’re drenched in wine!” She couldn’t believe this! He was laughing at her!
“Do I amuse you, Prince?” She imagined her words were little daggers and she just hurled them at him, driving them into his soul with all her might.
He took her words like a slap to the face. It was his turn to stutter. “N-No you don’t. I apologize greatly my lady.”
“I am not your lady” Annabeth turned to leave, walking to the stable that was really only a huge coral with the horses herded into it. She found her horse immediately. She was only five feet from it too before the prince’s hand closed around her wrist.
“Why am I so attracted to a female who throws me insults like daggers, walks away from me like I’m some peasant, and keeps walking even though I’ve made it clear I want her to stop?”
“Perhaps one day you will learn that you won’t get everything you want, Prince” Annabeth said in her sweetest voice, broke his grasp, walked over to where her horse was grazing. She grabbed her dress and climbed over the strong fence.
“Wait lady!” “Great, that’s just fantastic!” Annabeth thought to herself. She was already over the fence and was grabbing the saddle when the prince got to the fence. She moved quickly, grabbing the saddle and pulling herself on the horse extremely gracefully.
“Good evening to you, Prince. Perhaps when you have a little humiliation on your record we will speak again but until then enjoy your fools!” Annabeth called as she rode out of the stable and away from any future she might have had.
She barely took in the fact that the prince was desperately trying to climb onto his own horse to chase after her. But she was down the drive and was galloping too fast for him to catch her. Connor was suddenly beside her and then they were turning onto a side road that led to the small cottage where their families both lived together.
That night Annabeth’s last thought before she slept dreamlessly was “Home, I’m home and I’m safe”. She couldn’t have been more wrong.
Annabeth woke up too horses hooves pounding close to the cottage door and Connor rushing her to get dressed as quiet as she could. Annabeth was confused and then she realized what was happening. They were being raided! Annabeth pulled her dress on two seconds before the raiders burst through her door.
“Run!!!” Connor yelled.
“Everyone stop! Or I kill her!” The man had his grizzly arm wrapped around Annabeth’s neck. She squeezed her eyes shut and screamed at the top of her lungs “RAIDERS!!!”
She only thought that if they had to die for an entire village so be it. She didn’t expect what happened next though.
The prince burst through the door to their dainty cottage. Annabeth opened her eyes but wanted immediately to close them. The prince was atop his beautiful black mare. He was fully clothed in his armor and he looked terrifying. His eyes were gloriously savage, his face was made into a cold hard mask of hated and anger.
Annabeth began to struggle against the man’s grip but he tightened it around her neck, choking her. She tried to scream but all that came out was a sad little squeak.
“Let her go and I’ll just take you on a little trip to the dungeon, alright?” the prince said calmly.
“Oh I think she and I are having too much fun, aren’t we little pixie?” his voice made Annabeth sick.
“Please…” was all that came out. The man tightened his grip again and said close to her ear “What’s that little pixie?” His arm had come up too cover her mouth. She saw her way out and she took it. She bit the man with all her might.
“DA**!!!!” the man yelled as he threw her to the ground at the prince’s feet. The prince hastily grabbed her elbow, lifted her up and shoved her behind him. He pointed the tip of his sword at the raider who was examining his bleeding hand.
“Guards!” the prince yelled and nine of the palace guards emerged from the shadows of the cottage. They advanced on the man and when he fought back one guard drove his sword through the man’s heart. Annabeth dropped ever so gracefully to the floor and put her head into her hands. She barely recognized that the prince had knelt next her and had his hand on her back.
“I would like to invite all of you to stay at my palace.” Annabeth looked up at the prince at the exact same moment he looked at her.
“Why?” she barely whispered the word but the prince heard and smiled a wide glorious smile while he answered her.
“Well considering that this was your home and the raiders destroyed it I thought you might like to have a place to sleep tonight.” The prince’s smile broadened when Annabeth looked around and sighed in defeat.
“I think we might have to take you up on your offer, prince” Annabeth sighed again and took the prince’s outstretched hand.
“Now we only have to deal with transportation. Humph…” the prince tapped his chin,
“I and Connor have our own horses so it’s just our mothers that need a ride.”
“Well my guards can ride with them, so that solves it.” The prince was happy with himself. But Annabeth’s mother spoke up.
“What about clothes? The raiders destroyed everything we owned!” her mother was sobbing now.
Annabeth moved to hug her mother. She was a mess. But sadly she was correct. The raiders had destroyed everything they owned. Annabeth looked to the prince but the prince was looking around and when his eyes landed on Annabeth she saw that savage temper in his eyes.
“I’m sure between the three of us we can rustle up some patterns and sow some more clothes and- and we” the prince interrupted her then.
“Absolutely not!” when everyone gave their question mark looks to the prince he continued with “My seamstresses have been out of work for a while. This will be a task they will enjoy greatly.”
“Well then. Shall we leave?” Annabeth asked no one in particular.
“Yes it’s a long ride so we should be going.” The prince said eying Annabeth.
Annabeth looked around and spotted her cloak lying on the floor. She put it on and without looking to see if anyone was following her went to the coral in the back of their cottage. She saddled up her horse and untied its rains. Only then did she realize Connor was beside his horse doing the same.
When she looked around she saw their mothers conversing with the guards they would be riding with, everyone sliding into their saddles, and then she saw the prince watching her with a curious expression. She too slid onto her saddle and met the prince’s gaze with her own. With a simple nod of her head the prince saddled up and yelled for everyone to follow the guards to the palace.
“Mind if I ride next to you through the village?” the prince asked falling into place beside her.
“Oh no! The village!!!” said Annabeth as she set off at a gallop towards the village. The prince seemed to share her fear because he was right beside her as she galloped towards the small town that lied west of the cottage. She lost track of who was with her. She surged on. When she arrived at the first house she hopped down and ran into the center of the massacre. The raiders had injured countless people and burnt up countless buildings. Annabeth ran to the nearest injured person and assessed the little boy had a few cuts but he would live. She moved onto the next and the next.
The prince was beside her telling people that help was on the way and smiling reassuring at them. Then he turned to Annabeth and cupped his hands around hers and said “You saved them. Your scream warned them. You saved them. You saved them, Annabeth” he just kept repeating those words and finally Annabeth began to cry. The prince held her and kept repeating those words to her. They stayed like that for a while until one of the uninjured women handed the prince a hankie and gestured towards Annabeth. The prince gave Annabeth the hankie but still hugged her. When she stopped crying she hugged the prince back. Only then did Annabeth stand up and began to work her way through the people again. The prince stayed beside her for the whole thing.
When they finished Annabeth sat down on a rock. She was shaking horribly. The prince sat next to her and brought a cup of water to Annabeth’s lips. After she finished the water the prince made her eat an apple.
“Are you not eating or drinking anything today?” Annabeth asked the prince.
“I just wanted to make sure you ate and drank first” the prince was distracted.
Annabeth touched his cheek with the palm of her hand. The prince closed his eyes against her touch. “Please drink something, please” Annabeth whispered to the prince. The prince smiled a ghost of a smile and nodded his head. Annabeth picked up the cup and went to one of the wells nearby. When she came back the prince hadn’t moved but had opened his eyes and been watching her. She put the cup to his lips and made him drink all of it.
“Thank you, Annabeth.” The prince said holding her hand.
“You are ever so welcome, prince” said Annabeth leaning her head against his shoulder.
“Deandre” said the prince. Annabeth didn’t move but said “What?”
“That’s my name, Deandre.”
“I like that name. It suites you quite well if I may say so myself”
“For what?” Annabeth was confused.
“For caring about what my name is”
Annabeth laughed and sat up.
“I will always care about what your name is” she said hugging him.
“As will I to you” he said hugging her back.
“I will always fight for you, Annabeth” Deandre said taking her hand.
“So shall I” Annabeth leaned toward him and finally their lips met in a beautiful eternal embrace of love and passion. In that moment Annabeth knew he would fight for her, always. At last they pulled apart both had the goofiest smiles on their faces.
They stood and moved to their horses. Once they had rallied everyone together they all mounted and rode out.