21.3K 761 52

The heir to the throne of Frencia found himself to be rather conflicted as he leant dangerously close to the balcony edge. He watched the nobles flickering about the ballroom, hands grasping glasses of champagne, laughing faces and twirling skirts. It blurred together into a unsettling vision of gold and diamond. He glanced down to his arms resting against the railing to find a nagging piece of garland scratching up against his hand. It annoyed him more than it would on a normal day, though this day in particular, was everything but.

A few debutantes awoke him from his gaze, giggling up to him from the ballroom below. He sighed and rested his cheek against his palm, it was hard for him even to muster his usual flirtatious wink in their direction. Callan didn't want a wife or a partner or a Queen, he didn't even particularly want the kingdom. If his life was at his own accord, he'd be off somewhere on a remote island with not one responsibility.

His gaze eventually wandered to the far side of the room, his eyes finding those of a dark haired woman. She looked up at him curiously, then back to the novel that she had buried within her gown.

Cal cleared his throat abruptly and stood up from his slouched position. His response was  startled like, almost as if he'd seen a ghost.

He quickly marched down the secluded steps from the royal balcony to the ballroom floor, gaining the attention of the rest of the Royals. The Queen glanced down over the railing to find her son walking at a fast pace towards the edge of the ballroom, seeming like he intended to do something rash. Though this wasn't necessarily unheard of when matters related to her son.

The Prince met the gaze of the woman he'd seen before, she looked startled now. He stopped abruptly in the center of the ballroom, curiously watching her every movement over the heads of the many nobles who tried to gain his attention. Callan wanted to escape them desperately, but he unfortunately found himself in an inescapable position.

"Your Highness, I don't believe we've had the pleasure of meeting," said a man, bowing to him.

"The pleasure is mine, I'm sure," he murmured, eventually glancing down to the man, "Allow me to call on you another time, sir, I'm afraid I have a prior commitment to attend to at the moment."

The Prince politely shoved his way through the crowd of nobles swarming him, finally reaching the end of the crowd to find the dark haired woman gone.

His face fell as he noticed her disappearance, it wasn't necessarily the fact that she was beautiful, for he had never actually met her before, but it was the fact that she sat alone in the corner of the room with nothing but a book in her hand.

She was a mystery; and he loved it.

Before he truly knew what he was doing, he exited the ballroom with a rather abrupt slam of the door, gaining the attention from quite a few nobles, and began searching the grand hall like a hunting dog would search for game.

He walked through the barren hall for what seemed like hours, never resting and never stopping to think about what he was doing; for it was a bit odd, even for him, to be so intent on finding a woman he'd just seen from afar. It wasn't until he spotted a dark figure crouched into the corner of the hallway, that he realized his victory.

He slowly approached the figure, not wanting to disturb her.

He shook his head at this thought, for if anything was out of the ordinary for a man such as himself, it was this.

He met a pair of dark green eyes staring up at him from behind a novel. They stared at each other for a moment before the girl stumbled up from her spot on the ground and fell into a deep curtsy, "Y-your Highness," she said softly, her voice light and bell-like.

Cal lifted her up from her curtsy, his eyes not leaving hers, they stared at each other for what seemed like an eternity, the both of them melting at the others gaze. Cal found himself incapable of forming any sort of sentence to acknowledge her, instead he was trapped within her eyes. She was nothing he had ever seen before: it was if she was a dark angel of the night with her raven black hair and piercingly green eyes. She perplexed him in every way one could be perplexed, she was a mystery to him, utterly and irrevocably.

It could've been seconds, minutes, hours that they stood there, neither of them breaking the others gaze. Callan could've stayed like that for the rest of his life, falling into her endless emerald eyes.

She was the first to look away, taking in a deep breath as if she were steadying herself. It was then that the Prince realized that he was trapping her into the corner, his cheeks flushed pink as he stepped out of her way and dropped her hand.

The dark haired woman walked away, her dark emerald dress that matched her eyes so perfectly twirling around in her wake. She left him with one last glance, her eyes revealing a hidden spark of longing beneath her deep irises.

The Prince sucked in a ragged breath, mustering up the courage to get at least one word to form on his lips, "Mademoiselle," he murmured, almost a whisper, his hand reaching out slightly as if he were reaching for her.

She peaked over her shoulder to leave him with the one memory that would stay with him forever. Her ivory skinned shoulder sparkled beneath the candlelight as it peaked out from her gown. Her eyes were curious, as if she were asking him an unanswerable question.

"M-Mademoiselle," he breathed again, "Your name-"

She smiled shyly against her shoulder, lowering her eyes to his hand that was still outstretched, "Ariella."

AriellaRead this story for FREE!