Chapter 38 | I Just Can't

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This was much, much worse than the time I fell down the hill. By past experiences, I recognized the familiarity of broken bones and ugly wounds. The healing would take a long time. I could tell by how the first bruise I got on my cheek was still burning as if I just received it today.

"How are you?" Athos sighed, crouching to find eye-contact with me, but I could barely open one eye due to the contusion.

I felt so heavy and so tired that I could sleep longer than Sleeping Beauty. If there ever was a sleeping competition between Aurora and me, I would win that crown on the spot.

"You know, crazy chérie, you never told us about how you met le Prince Ethan Bauquemare." Aramis sat down, trying his best to direct my attention elsewhere, "Amuse us."

Despite the heavy torment, I still managed to smile at his words. "Oh, you guys better get comfy," I started, altering my gaze from one Musketeer to the other, "Because this is a long story."

***

"I do not get it," Porthos' face filtered bewilderment before it converted into curiosity. "How did you end up in a pile of rocks?"

A sheepish grin grew on my lips, "I know it's stupid, unlikely and as if it was a scene ripped from a book written by a teenager, but it happened - believe or not, it happened."

D'Artagnan shook his head, "But what about the wolf? Did it ever attack again?"

I shrugged my shoulders, listening to how the chains followed my actions.

"Is no one going to mention the fact that she almost killed the Prince of Areadan?" Aramis' query summoned laughs from all of us, converting the air into something warm and simple.

"Hey, to my defense, he started the entire thing."

That was the last words that were said before the room fell silent and peaceful. We were all just filling the empty cells, watching the time move slowly by.

How much longer is he going to keep me captured here? I thought for myself, trying to grasp the events that led to this. Why had I not noticed being stalked for months? When will I return home? Or perhaps the right question would be: will I ever return home?

The thought of never being able to see Emil, Aria, Carl, Francis, and Ethan saddened me. But most of all, the thought of never being able to see Hazel again broke my heart. She is the person who stands closest to me and who knows me inside out.

Not only did I worry about Francis and his health after what Captain Claes had put him through, but I was also anxious about Hazel. The only thing she knew about my summer plans was that I was going to Norway to visit my grandmother.

However, I never gave her time nor the dates. If the roles had been switched, I know for a fact that I would be pulling my hair for every second that I did not hear from Hazel.

Ever since we were children, we have grown on each other, knitted our personalities and souls into one heart. She's like the sister I never had, a family I never got to have. She's there for me all day and all night, always picks up my calls - no matter where the sun stands in the sky.

Therefore, it hurt to be away from her for so long. It was as if I had lost all the music in my life; no melody to keep me going, and no lyrics to comfort me.

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