Ariella barely flinched when Mae burst through the door and ran to her side. It wasn't until she felt a smooth piece of parchment slide into her hand that she turned to face the maid. Mae smiled at her giddily, beckoning Ariella to open the envelope resting in her hand.

Ariella gave Mae a curious look as she noticed the name written on the letter, "What is this about, Mae? Have you stolen this?"

"What the Duke doesn't know can't hurt him." She said promptly, beckoning again for Ariella to open the envelope.

Ariella raised an eyebrow before turning to the letter and picking apart the already opened wax seal. The envelope revealed a thick sheet of royal stationary, which Ariella continued to scan with hungry eyes.

Mae watched her with excitement, already knowing the letter's contents from rumors spread throughout the servants quarters.

Ariella looked to Mae with shock, her eyes gleaming and her lips smiling for the first time in weeks, "He's riding back to the Château du Bois to gather a few things before he returns home to the Palais."

Mae's face lit up with excitement, "This is pure luck, Mademoiselle, God is on our side today! The letter is dated a week ago, already opened!"

Ariella threw the sheets off of her body and tried to stand up, but fell back down onto her bed.

"My Lady!" Mae shrieked, reaching out for her.

"I am perfectly well, Mae, help me up so I may dress! The Prince returns this evening!"

Mae smiled brightly as she lifted Ariella from her bed and helped her walk to the closet, "The doctor suggests no corsets for the time-being, Mademoiselle. Your wound is still healing."

"The less confining clothing I am forced to wear, the better."

Mae helped Ariella into a royal blue colored gown, and placed a cloak over her. Ariella refused to have her hair fixed, as usual, so it was left untamed.

Ariella raced to her window which over looked the front court of the Château, barely containing her excitement as she awaited the royal procession.

But what arrived, wasn't the royal procession at all. Instead, it was a single man on horseback, dressed in a guards uniform.

Ariella raced out of her room, slamming the door behind her. Her wound ached with more pain than she had experienced since she was injured, but she kept running, until she shoved passed the butler who opened the door to greet the guard.

"Where is he?" She demanded, her cheeks flushed and her hair sticking out in all different directions, "Where is the Prince?"

"-Mademoiselle-" the butler interrupted, but Ariella continued to step outside and shut the door behind her.

"Take me to Prince Callan," she said forcefully.

"Mademoiselle Ariella? You've survived?" The guard asked, "We all thought you to be dead."

"No, I am alive and well. Now, I'll only ask this of you one last time, monsieur-"

"Here, Mademoiselle, follow me," the guard murmured, "You see, the Prince has refused to return to the Château—too many memories, I suppose."

Ariella didn't respond. Instead, she hurried ahead of the guard, almost running towards a group of men on horseback several yards ahead of her.

As she approached the men, she made eye contact with an unfamiliar man, who then looked to the man in front of him, his back turned towards Ariella.

Callan turned his head to find himself locked in the gaze of two familiar emerald eyes. He felt his entire body tremble at the sight of her as he took in a breath, trying to process what was going on.

He hopped down from his horse and took a few steps closer to her, timidly, as if he was attempting to approach a ghost.

"Callan," Ariella whispered, "You've returned to me."

His eyes began to tear, "Am I dreaming, my love?" He asked softly, his voice shaking.

Ariella walked towards him, placing a hand against his cheek, "I will never leave you again."

Sorry if there is a glitch as you're reading! I'm trying to get it fixed :)

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