Mouse gently stroked the tall, cream coloured stallion as Vyron tied down his bags on its back. When he was done, he turned to her.
"He likes you," he commented as the horse nuzzled her hand.
"What's his name?" she asked, avoiding all thoughts of Vyron's impending departure.
"Spectrum," Vyron smiled, stroking the great beast as well. "My little brother, Leo, named him. Don't ask me why he decided to call him Spectrum, because honestly? I don't know." He laughed, which became contagious as Mouse began to laugh too. She drew closer to him, placing her hands flat against his chest, remembering the warmth of his skin against hers.
"I don't want you to go," she whispered.
"I know," he sighed, pulling her into his embrace. "I know." He softly kissed the top of head, holding her tight as if he never wanted to let go. She tilted her head up to look at him, the sadness in her eyes earning her a kiss on the lips as he tried to comfort her.
"Don't go," she managed to gasp when their lips finally parted. Instead of responding to her, all he did was kiss her again. Passion flared through her body again as she was reminded of their time together only hours earlier. She never wanted to stop holding him, stop kissing him. His lips were so soft and so gentle against hers, making her go mad with passion. She pressed her lips harder against his, wanting to feel every bit of his love.
"I love you," she whispered as they broke away for air.
"I love yo-" he was cut off as Mouse kissed him again.
When their lips finally parted, their lungs both gasping for air, Lord Penton made his presence known, clearing his throat loudly.
"I believe you should be on your way now," he remarked, looking at Vyron. Lowering his voice he continued, "You do not want to keep your companions waiting."
"Yes, M'Lord," Vyron bowed to him. "Your Majesty." Mouse turned, suddenly realizing that Arya was there too. They had not spoken since Mouse had yelled at her, which she felt ashamed about now.
She's right, she sighed inwardly. It wasn't her place to tell me. It was Vyron's.
"Vyron Queué, it was an honour to have you serve me," Arya spoke clearly and loudly. "I hope that someday you will be able to return and restore your fallen name to its former glory."
"Thank you, Your Majesty," he bowed to he. "I hope that I will be worthy enough to serve you again someday." He turned back to Mouse, running his hand gently along the side of her face.
"I hope that we meet again someday, my fair Lady," he smiled sadly. "You will forever be in my heart."
"As you will be in mine," she replied softly. With pain in his eyes, he leaned down and kissed her one final time. Whenever he tried to pull away, Mouse reached up and pulled him back down into the kiss again. Finally, she let him go, tears rolling down her cheeks.
"Goodbye, Vyron," she whispered softly. He gently stroked her cheek, wiping away her tears, before he turned suddenly and mounted his horse. He nodded once more to Lord Penton and Arya, then leaned down and took Mouse's hand and kissed it softly.
"Until we meet again," his musical voice whispered.
Mouse stepped back and watched as he turned his horse around and galloped out of the Courtyard, tears streaming down her cheeks. She felt a gentle hand on her shoulder and turned to find Arya beside her, who slowly took her into her arms and held her. In that moment, she didn't care about what Penton would think as she hugged Arya back. All she cared about was the comfort that she was giving her.
And for once Lord Penton actually didn't make a comment. It was as if he understood that if there was ever a time to make an exception that now would be that time.
When the tears finally stopped rolling, she slowly eased herself out of Arya's embrace.
"I'm sorry," Mouse whispered, not looking at Arya.
"For what?" she asked.
"For yelling at you," Mouse replied. "I understand why you said that it wasn't your place to tell."
"I'm sorry too," Arya sighed, beckoning towards a nearby bench, indicating that they should sit. "I should have told you as soon as it happened. I just didn't know how to break the news to you. I knew how much you loved him and I didn't want to hurt you."
"I know," Mouse sighed, leaning her head on Arya's shoulder. "It did hurt. But at least I finally told him."
"That you love him?" Arya asked.
"Yes," Mouse replied, awkwardly nodding as her head still rested on Arya's shoulder. "At least I got to spend a few hours with him, both of us knowing how the other felt."
"Yes, so I've heard," Arya smirked.
"What do you mean?" Mouse asked, sitting up straight.
"Let's just say you made quite an impression on a certain young servant..." Arya laughed.
"Oh my gosh!" Mouse exclaimed, covering her gaping mouth with her hands. "Arya, we didn't do anything, I swear!"
"That's not what I and the rest of the Palace have heard," Arya remarked.
"Yes, we were found without our shirts on," Mouse admitted, her cheeks pink with embarrassment. "But that's as far as we went! You know very well that I'm saving myself till I'm married!"
"Oh I know that," Arya teased. "But the rest of the Palace doesn't!"
"Oh no!" Mouse cried. "My reputation is ruined!" She buried her face in her hands.
"Mouse, I was teasing!" Arya said, placing a gentle hand on her shoulder. "I personally made sure that that rumor was crushed before it had the chance to get around. No one would dare say a thing about it unless they want to lose their job."
"Really?" Mouse asked, peeking out from behind her hands.
"Really, really," Arya smiled.
"Thank you," Mouse smiled as well, siting back up. "I'm glad that I have a friend like you looking out for me."
"I should be thanking you, actually," Arya commented. "That's what twice now that you've saved my life?"
"I swore that I would protect you, Arya," Mouse replied seriously. "I would lay down my life for you if I had to to keep you safe."
"I know," Arya smiled. "And I am so thankful that The Creator sent you to me, my own personal, flesh and blood Guardian Angel... Huh, maybe I should have called you Angel instead of Mouse."
"Oh please no!" Mouse exclaimed. "Do you know what kind of cheesy pick-up lines guys would try to use on me? Did it hurt when you fell from Heaven? Because with a face like that, you must be an angel... Oh wait, you are an Angel! That would be torture!"
"You can thank The Creator that I didn't then," she laughed in response. They fell silent for a couple minutes before Mouse spoke again.
"Arya?" Mouse said softly. "Do you think that I was meant to be with Vyron? Like, should I wait for him?"
"I don't know, Mouse," Arya shrugged with a sigh. "But if he's not, then I'm sure that you will find the right guy someday. We both will. We've just got to be patient and pray. If it's meant to be, then it's meant to be. If not, The Creator will let you know. What does your heart tell you?" Mouse turned and looked off in the direction that Vyron had gone. She closed her eyes, taking a deep breath. When she opened them again, she knew her answer.
"He's not the one," she whispered. "But the right one is coming."
~ Four years later ~
Mouse closed her book, smiling sadly as she reflected on the past. She had forgotten about the old journal until just that morning when she had found it while rummaging through some of her old stuff.
I'll never forget my time with Vyron, she sighed as she gently placed the worn out book on the bookshelf beside a copy of Trickster's Choice. She was about to pick that book off the shelf when she heard the door open behind her. She turned around and smiled.
"Good afternoon, Roran," she smiled at the tall man. He still made her feel giddy every time that she saw him. He had broad, strong shoulders, and a tan to his skin that suggested that he spent a lot of time in the sun. His chocolate brown hair hung just above his shoulders, framing a face that was strong, but gentle and held a mouth that was often, as it was now, twisted upwards into a smile. Stubble covered a sturdy chin. He had a strong nose just under a pair of bright blue eyes. His clothes were not poor, but they were not grand either, more like the clothes of a merchant traveler: a pair of brown breeches and a pale green shirt. His black boots were worn and dirty, an evident sign that the man traveled a lot.
She would not admit it, but her feelings for him had slowly begun to grow stronger over the past few months since leaving the Palace.
"Good afternoon, Annabelle," he smiled back. The name still felt odd to her, but she couldn't help but smile as he said her name. Her real name. The name that her birth parents had given her. Annabelle.
"The horses are all saddled up," he said, plucking an apple out of a basket on the table. "Are you ready to go?"
"Yes," she nodded. They were going to see Miss Hilda Lemon-Bun, the old woman who had raised her since she was a baby. "I'm ready to find out more about who I really am. Miss Lemon-Bun is the only one who can give that to me."
"And I'm looking forward to finding out more about the only daughter of the founders of the Spy Network of Keiento," Roran smiled. "Johnathin and Elizabeth would be proud of you, you know."
"I know," Mouse replied softly. "I just wish that I could have had the chance to get to know them."
"Well, maybe Miss Lemon-Bun will be able to tell you some more about them," Roran shrugged. "But we should get going now. She's expecting us."
She followed Roran outside, closing the door firmly behind her. She didn't worry about locking it as she knew that no one would find their little log cabin in the hidden valley. She smiled as she looked around her, never getting tired of the beautiful scenery. A crystal clear lake sat beside the cabin, the sounds of a waterfall just barely audible from the doorstep. The lush green grass covered the rolling hills that hid the cabin from view. Bright coloured flowers were beginning to pop up in the early spring weather.
She turned her attention on the horses before her, a black stallion and a white mare with black stockings and a black star on her forehead. She went to the mare and gently stroked it.
"You ready to ride, Starfire?" she whispered to it. As if in response, it whinnied, pawing the ground as if to say, "Let's go already!" She laughed as she swung herself up into the saddle, flicking the reins, holding on tight as the mare jolted into motion beneath her. She smiled as the sun fell across her face, quickly glancing over her shoulder to see if Roran was keeping up. She loved the flip-flop feeling that she got in her stomach when she saw the pure happiness on his face.
My heart didn't lie to me, she thought as she reflected back on that one day years ago. And now the right one has come.
~ End ~
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