11 Years ago
Standing amongst the crowd, little Rouge was in tears. The other children were playing and they excluded her, telling her that she was a "red demon child."
At five years old, the young girl knew that she was different. Her fiery red hair was so vibrant, that it reminded one of brightly burning flames. Among her relatives, she was the only unfortunate one to be born with this bold color. Her other siblings had normal brown hair with light blond streaks, making her feel even more monstrous.
When she had been born, the villagers had suggested throwing her to the wolves into the Forbidden Forest, for she could not possibly be sent down from heaven. Her unmatched eyes were of no help either to contradict the forsaken thought. One of emerald green, and the other of a deep sapphire, were the perfect contrast to her hair; Rouge was odd indeed.
The mothers in the village forbid their children from playing with her, some even encouraged their kids to mistreat her because she was a "Cursed demon’s child."
Rouge heard all of those rumors, but could not understand why the families hated her so much. She had, after all, been well behaved all year long. She had not stolen any cookies when her mother left them unchecked on the kitchen counter, returned any coins found on the floor to their respective owners, and even stayed home by herself like a big girl when her mother went on errands. The poor enfant could not picture why they abhorred her so much.
Pitifully, she started sobbing, knowing that no one would pay her any mind and ask her what was wrong. Her mother had left her at the play party to go and sell her goods at the market. Her mother was either oblivious or careless concerning the fact that she was not welcome at the play party.
Rouge doubted anyone would come and play with her.
Valtor Ekker did not know what he was doing here.
His carriage had broken down while he was on his way to meet some important people, and now he was tardy and irritated; the only two things his cold self could not tolerate.
Now he found himself strolling around and about, seeing dirty and loud children playing.
How he had stumbled upon this place baffled him. This little town- a village really- seemed to be in the middle of nowhere, with barely any interesting things around. Located in a forest, this place lacked all new technology from the big city.
The children bothered him with their noises.
It was not that he disliked children, it was the opposite, they were afraid of him and disliked him. Nothing anew, adults also were frightened by him. He stayed clear of them. That was less work and more peaceful.
Having nothing better to do at this time, Valtor observed the running children who seemed to be lost in their own world. He missed that part of himself, oblivious to all the darkness in this world and the other one. Granted, he was never one to be oblivious at their age; no, THEY would not let him remain ignorant. He shook the thought of them away from his wandering mind, not wanting to be even more disturbed by their existence than he has to be.
Lost in his thought, he did not notice the little girl sniffling in his path. Stumbling slightly as he almost stepped upon her body on the ground , he caught himself before he could inflict any damages on the little thing.
The five year old turned to looked at the disturbance, her eyes opening wide and grand when they fell on the man who had almost stepped on her.
The man before her was beautiful. He was the comeliest man her young self had ever seen. He was also tall, very tall, with shoulder length hair that resembled her friend's Madeleine's hair.
The young girl, however, had failed to notice the dark aura that followed the man around when everyone else did. She did not take into account how the parents, who now have appeared, tightly clutched their children away from the mysterious man who seemed to have a dark cloud over his head.
It was not new, people often had this same reaction when it came to Valtor Ekker, who would not? The man wore all black, the perfect contrast to his milky-white skin, shoulder length black hair, and light grey eyes. He was beautiful yet dangerous; this air of danger repelled all possible attractions that one might feel towards his god-like beauty.
"Are you well little one?" Whispered Valtor curiously, his tone smooth and calm as to not frighten the girl.
"I have no friends..." Rouge replied, her eyes becoming teary all over again thinking about how the other children mistreated her. Only Madeleine liked her. She would play with her behind her parents' barn in secret when they were all indoors because she was banned from speaking to Rouge.
"I consider us to be friends, are we not?" Questioned Valtor again, somehow wanting to comfort the pretty kid. He did not know why, but his instinct urged him to continue this conversation. Valtor Ekker did not converse with anyone besides his most trusted people, but here he was now, entertaining a small girl.
"We... are?" Inquired the young girl, thrilled yet curious as to why the pretty mister wanted to be friends with her.
"Yes, we are. Or perhaps, maybe acquaintances?" He went along with the little charade, still questioning his instinct.
"What is your name then... friend?"
"I am named Valtor, Valtor Ekker. What is your name Little one?"Rouge, my name is Rouge. And mister Valtor, your are very beautiful," pausing briefly as if to ponder over her next words, Rouge continued, "I will marry you when I become older and pretty. You will be my Prince Charming and I, the princess, similar to the late night tales my mother tells me at night. You will marry me mister Valtor, will you not?"
Rouge decided that her first friend would then and there be her husband. Her big doe eyes relished in the idea of ever marrying the nice mister. He was very handsome, even more handsome than the older misters of her village.
Valtor chuckled softly, partly amused despite his efforts to remain cold and guarded. This little girl somehow managed to get a chuckle out of him, something he had not done in years. "Of course pretty Rouge, I will be honored to be your husband. But you must know where I live for that to happen, aye?" He did not know why those words were stumbling out of his mouth. He was a fool who could not control his damn mouth. Valtor was unsure as to why he was even offering such ...presumptuous and outrageous suggestions.
"Yes mister Valtor, where do you live?" Asked Rouge naively. She was happy that she now had a fiancé like the older girls of her village. When she tells her mother and Madeleine... they would not believe her. She was truly excited, having a fiancé meant that she, too, was a big girl.
"I live in the forest of the Dark mountains," pointing forward towards the Forbidden Forest, "I live there. When you grow older and become more pretty, come find me and I shall marry you Princess Rouge." Adding a dramatic bow just to exaggerate it a bit, Valtor finished his sentence.
Why had he told her the truth about where he lived. This was becoming more and more strange and he wanted to leave before he uttered any more oddities.
"I will come find you," promised Rouge with a giggle. Her innocence radiating so much that it evaporated all of Valtor's previous irritation with where the conversation had been led.
"And I will wait," knowing fully well that the little girl will forget of this encounter, yet happy seeing that she was no longer in tears, Valtor went along his merry way.
And so it began...