“Shh! You’re being too loud,” I whispered into his ear. He grinned widely, grabbed my hand and led me deeper into the forest. I knew where we were going. It was and always has been our place. Hidden by hundreds of trees, no one could ever find out secret hiding place. A moss-covered rock shelf stuck out over a bed of soft grass, barely visible in all the green. I smiled as we ducked under the shelf. I felt his large, strong hands run up my back, stopping at my neck, pulling me closer to him. Both my back and neck felt like they were on fire from his touch.

I could barely see his grin in the darkness of the early morning, especially under our rock. I closed my eyes as he moved in to kiss me passionately. My hands automatically moved to his luscious, blond hair. I ran my fingers through his waves as we kissed, his hands playing though my dark brown hair as well. Before I knew it, we were laying in the grass. I’m sure you can guess what came next.


I woke with a start to the sound of a close-by bird who was singing its lungs out. I sat up quickly, realizing where I was. I turned to Chris, shaking his shoulder. “Chris, it’s morning. We fell asleep. Wake up!”

“Mmm…” He mumbled. He opened one eyes, glanced at me, around the “cave” and then opened both eyes. “Oh!” He fumbled around, realizing he wasn’t wearing any clothes, and got dressed. I did the same.

We jumped up, grabbing each other’s hands and sped through the tangle of trees, bushes and plants. When we finally made it to the clearing in front of my home, Chris turned to me, took my face in his hands and gave me a long, emotion-packed goodbye kiss. He smiled, then let go of me, turning to leave.

“Bye,” I whispered as I watched him walk away. He would be going home to his small, run-down cottage in town that he shared with his two sisters and their families, while I was going home to a palace. And no, I’m not exaggerating. I literally live in a palace.

My name is Mabel. Princess Mabel, the only child of Daniel and Louisa Moreau, the king and queen of Crescentina, our tiny country. And as you may have already figured out, I have a secret.

I’m in love with a commoner.

We met on accident when I was just 13 years old, 5 years ago. I had found the hidden rock shelf about a year before and had been visiting it every time I was having a bad day. That particular day my parents had been fighting. They were locked inside their gigantic room, but I could still hear their raised voices through the thick walls. I knew it had to do with my future. I pulled on my cloak and snuck out through the kitchen door, going straight to the rock. I sat down under it, pulling my knees into my chest. A couple minutes later, I heard footsteps, then the sound of a branch snapping, then more footsteps. Horrified, I moved farther under the rock, hoping my dark-colored cloak would camouflage me.

A boy of about 15 came around the corner, ducking under the rock. I held my breath. He sat down right in front of me, staring out into the woods. I stared at the back of his wavy blond head, hoping that he would get up and leave.

After about an hour of waiting, I just couldn’t take it anymore.

“Who are you?” I asked. The boy jumped about 5 feet in the air.

“Who’s there?” He asked, moving out from under the rock. He squinted into the darkness. I remember taking mental notes of his strong jaw, his bright green eyes and his pale pink lips that looked softer than melted butter. Even at 15 he could have passed for an adult. He was nearly 6 feet tall, which scared me a little, me being barely 5 foot at that time. I came out of the shadows, lifting the hood of my cloak off of my head. I stood up.

“I’m Mabel,” I said. His eyes were as wide as saucers and all his did was stare. “What are you doing under my rock? What’s your name?”