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Aland Montecute

Now it was the descend of three flights of stairs. I missed a numerous amount of them, as my bodyguards frequently lifted me into the air in their hurry to get me downstairs. I realized that reasoning with them or inquiring about my fate would only aggravate them, so I tried to keep quiet and keep up with them. At last we came to a standstill in front of yet another heavy double door entrance and they knocked.

"Come!" I heard a male voice from inside.
It took both of them to push the two doors open and they shoved me inside. Letting go of my arms, which hurt like throbbing contusions by now, I was finally in a state of immunity.

"You can leave. Stand guard outside."
The tall dark-haired man stood with his back facing us. Then the doors were finally closed and we were alone. The room felt cosy and my legs and feet were beginning to thaw from the heat of the fireplace. He turned around. I nearly gasped. The man in front of me had dark,almost black shoulder length hair. He had the singular, most extraordinary blue-green eyes with long dark lashes framing it. Also, a strong square jaw. His hair was moist and slightly curly. He ran his hand through it,further dishevelling it.

"I am prince Aland Montecute." He came forward and took my hand, inviting me to sit down. His presence was almost intimidating.
"My lady, were you hurt in any way?" He took it upon himself to step forward and lift my chin. I jerked my head away. His smile was complacent.

"No...but it was a horrid experience nonetheless. I have never in my life spent a night in a jail cell."
"We don't have jails in Utopia," he added, "as I've learned from my conversation with Lord Pooler, you and your friend refused to comply with our rules. He explained to you about Utopia being in another realm and that you were not to go to the woods. Still you chose to flee?" He was looking straight at me. It was unnerving. Something told me that I was not going to win this debate.

"How do I approach you? Do I call you 'Your Highness'?"
"Yes, but we are alone now, please call me Aland. I heard that you are Stephanie? May I call you that?"
"Yes..uhm..Aland. I don't want to get locked in towers. I just want to get back where I came from. Please,if you wish, I would never tell anyone about this place. If that is what you're trying to do here? Keep it from the world?"

"What did Hearst tell you? You don't understand anything!" He stood up and squatted in front of me. This situation was very weird. I just wanted to go home!
His face was quite close to mine, as he was speaking very slow, "Stephanie, please don't yell,don't get hysterical, don't run. I have to tell you something. Stay calm please."

Chills ran up and down my spine, "Why?"
"Stephanie, Utopia is in another dimension. You came from earth- this is Utopia. Do you understand?"
I nodded, then shook my head to disavow what he just said. I stared into his eyes,wordlessly,suddenly remembering to close my gaping mouth.

"Is this a joke?! We had trouble at sea, we must've been shipwrecked. We came here to your island and I plead with you- just help us to get home." The tears were now in quick succession, no way to hold it back. His hand was on my shoulder.
"I am being truthful with you. I can take you to people who had the same experience. They've been living here for years. No going back."

"This is not true!" Now I was sobbing. He handed me his handkerchief. I didn't take it,but buried my face in my hands. I was truly losing it.
He sighed, "You came through a portal."
"You're lying! You are keeping us here for some sick conspiracy!"
"You are so wrong. You might as well have a go at it...whimpering, I mean. I have three sisters..,"he said gloomy and stood up, "and this is not an island."

I was drained. Too much had happened in these two days. Fatigue was taking its toll. I lost track of time. I was a bit irrational without a watch. As a teacher, I felt in control, working with the clock. I was a person addicted to routine and all these hassles began claiming my sanity. I was sniffing a whole lot, but I didn't want to ask for his hanky. Leaving the room,was my only intention now.

"I want to leave the room now please. I am tired,hungry, sad and I want to be alone..." He nodded.
"I was going to suggest that. Please understand that I am not your enemy. You have my sympathy. I've dealt with these situations numerous times. I am sorry. I wish I could tell you that there was a way back, but I don't believe in promises that I can't keep."

There was no more fight left in me, nor the strength to discuss this any further.

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