“Are you sure, Cirilla? I don’t feel comfortable with you doing this for me,” Rapunzel asked for the fifth time.
“It is done. This is the way it will happen, child.”
“Please keep half the gold and silver pieces from selling my dresses.”
“I won’t need them. You will when Knight Nicolas takes you away to his kingdom.”
Nick laughed. He’d politely explained many times he wasn’t a knight but a professional dirt bike rider and martial arts instructor. However, when he tried to explain what those were, she called him a wizard. He did not like that any better, so he let her call him a knight.
“On second thought, Knight Nicolas, give me two pieces of the jewelry you brought from home. It’s all I’ll need.”
When Cirilla met Rapunzel’s knight, she’d been skeptical but quickly realized his intentions were honorable. She closely watched the way he smiled when Rapunzel spoke. She also noticed the way his eyes brightened when the girl walked into the room or spoke. How he asked with genuine concern if she was doing well or needed anything and the way he held her hand or touched her face when she was within his arms reach. She approved. He was a true gentleman, and Cirilla liked him.
She’d also confirmed there was more between them than what Rapunzel had admitted to. She was not surprised the connection was so strong because Rapunzel had an inner beauty few could resist. She was smart and full of energy. It was time to get her out of that prison and into the world far away from the sheriff and live the life she was intended.
But at the back of her head, there was a small tinge of doubt that made her nervous. It would be the first time in her life since she began to work for the sheriff that she’d go against his orders and betray him. Yes, she’d done minute things here and there for Rapunzel, but this, this was masterfully planned, and a small sliver of what might be called guilt tore her. She prayed she could go through with the scheme for the young lover’s sake.
The Following Day
It was never easy for Cirilla to walk through the palace hallways with its opulent columns and doorways, lavish relics, and furniture. A shiver ran through her, and her stomach churned, but it had to be done. She must talk to him and disclose Rapunzel’s wishes because he must arrive at the tower as soon as possible. She knew it would take some convincing. The last time they were alone in the tower, Rapunzel attacked him and took one of his eyes.
“He will see you now,” Came the shrill voice of one of the guards. Cirilla’s heart thumped out of her chest as she mindlessly nodded...
The Sheriff arrived with two of his servants and two of his guards. The only four who knew about the tower beside Cirilla and the girl. With a booming, boisterous tone, he announced himself at the foot of the tower.
“Rapunzel, Rapunzel, I command you to let down your hair!”
All was quiet except for the cascading sound of the waterfall in the distance through the lush placid forest.
“Rapunzel, Rapunzel! I the great and the most powerful of the kingdom, even beyond the king himself, command you to let your hair down!”
Gradually sliding down the white rocks went her hair. Wrapping it around his hand a couple of times, he pulled his body flushing his feet against the stone before he climbed. It took him a long time since the man was not fit to escalate a wall so steep, let alone one as difficult, and tall as that grand tower. Finally, without any breath in his lungs, he squeezed through the small window and entered her chamber.
2 days prior
Between Cirilla and Rapunzel, they braided the thick hair as tightly as they could while Nick packed a few necessities she owned and placed them in his bag. Mostly undergarments, a slip, a pair of sandals, her brush, and several priceless family heirlooms she had left. Her shoes were not suitable except for the ones she’d wear when they left and the dresses too big and bulky.
When Nick mistook her undergarments as clothes, she gasped in shock, unable to understand how women could wear next to nothing and call it clothing.
“Look.” He took out his phone and opened the gallery application.
“Huh?! Knight Nicolas, what is this contraption?” Cirilla’s kind eyes popped open.
After getting over what a cell phone was and all it could do, Cirilla and Rapunzel flipped through photos of his girlfriends in shorts and exercise bras and shirtless buddies at the Dojo, posing at competitions, or working out at the gym. The concept of having girls as friends annoyed Rapunzel, but Cirilla was audacious enough to say not being involved with any of them now or in the past would be nearly impossible.
“I swear to you, Cirilla,” he laughed, and beautiful teeth flashed at her. “Having girls as friends is perfectly normal. Plus, if I was with any of them I would have never...”
Silence crowded the void as he became aware of what he had been so close to revealing. Flashing Rapunzel a look, he regarded her cranberry-red stained face staring at him with wide-eyed.
“Yes?” Cirilla lifted a brow.
“I-I would have never kissed Zelly.”
“Who the hell is Zelly?” Cirilla retorded.
“Rapunzel,” he said and beamed a smile at her, embarrassed.
“Fine. You keep believing I don’t know what I know about the pair of you if it makes you feel better.” She said with laughter in her eyes.
Nick tried to veer the conversation back to his competitions in martial arts and dirt biking, but Cirilla would have none of it, leaving both Rapunzel and Nicolas hot and embarrassed.
With one of her simple, least fancy, unsold dresses in hand, Nick took the scissors he brought and cut it above the knee. He didn’t want it to tangle around the wheels of his bike if it was too long. Their escape needed to be flawless. Both Cirilla and Rapunzel cringed, grinning and nodding politely while Nick proudly held his finished masterpiece.
Once the braid was tightly weaved, the sharp blade he brought was used to cut her mane above the shoulders. With an indescribable weight off her neck, she moved her head from side to side, shocked at how good it felt.
“I will never, ever, ever wear my hair long again!” Her voice was full of exhilaration and excitement, and her fingers and Cirilla’s combed through her short hair.
Rapunzel twirled, “This is only the beginning for me as a free woman.”
Present Day back at the Tower.
Out of breath, huffing loudly and red cheeks, exerted by his efforts, a soppy trail of sweat ran down his face after the sheriff reached the peak of the tower. His clothes dripped and unable to look up, the sheriff leaned forward placing his hands on his knees, and wheezed.
Beating out of control, he felt his heart would fail him, but it would all be worth it once Rapunzel was his. Once he held her young body beneath him and had her as many times as he wanted, he’d put her to shame. Making her his slave came to mind. The sheer pleasure of his thoughts made him choke on his own saliva.
In a sudden expert move, Rapunzel’s roped hair surrounded his throat tightening with a force that almost killed him on the spot. Lifting himself from his crouching position, he encountered Cirilla’s storm-gray eyes. The smile on her lips, demonic.
Shaking his head from side to side, fear set behind his eyes, and he salivated and spit. The roped hair around his trachea tightened. His once brown face showing signs of stress as it turned from pale to ghostly white, to a shade of pink, to bright, cherry red almost purple.
“You have no idea, how long, I’ve waited for this day, sheriff.”
Her voice was bewitchingly scary and paused, almost possessed.
“You shall never again, ever! Hurt another soul!” Anger shook the sounds coming out of her vocal cords, almost foreign in sound.
With both hands in unison and all her strength, she gave his chest a forceful blow pushing him back-first out the window. As in slow motion, his body fell into emptiness; flailing arms and legs moved about like a fresh squished bug.
The thick hawser stretched all it was able to go. When the sheriff slumped against the wall, his body convulsing; on cue, each servant pulled out a knife from the long, wide, blue sleeve of their tattered uniforms. With an elbow, they held the guards by the neck, and with the other hand, they sliced the blade over the skin slicing their throats. Blood spurt like an erupting volcano.
Both bodies collapsed with a thump crushing bones in front of them in great symphonic order as the final loud thwack of the sheriff’s back hit the wall and he was dead.
Likely before his neck broke the choke suffocated him as he plunged from the window. Maybe his heart failed. It didn’t matter, dead is dead just the same. With a sigh of relief, her hand motioned to the servants in appreciation, and out the window fell the necklace and silver bracelet Nick gifted her a few days before.
The servants bowed and praised Cirilla’s bravery. They’d told her they need not the jewelry, that their freedom would be enough; but it felt right to repay their loyalty and honor. In addition to that, Cirilla felt they needed enough silver to begin their new independent lives as free men.
She did ask for them to keep an eye on her and bring her food once a month as she did for Rapunzel for all those horrid years. They bowed and promised to return the following week. They also promised they would do everything in their power to bring down the tower and set her free. With an accomplished grin on her face, in her heart, Cirilla knew Rapunzel would be OK.
2 days prior
The braided tresses were duct-taped firmly to the wall then hooked twice around the metal hanger. Hugging her tight and kissing Cirilla on the cheek multiple times, Nick thanked her with tears in his eyes. She was more than satisfied with the kind, brave stranger who’d crossed the portal of blue light to save Rapunzel.
The most heart-wrenching goodbye followed.
Cirilla had been a mother to her. A companion. The only person she saw, touched, and communicated with for twelve years.
Zelly, as so lovingly called by her lover; broke down at her chest and couldn’t stop sobbing. Detaching her petrified fingers from her shoulders, Cirilla asked her to be brave and live.
“Do this for me girl. I’m at the end of my life. Yours is barely beginning.” Her voice was honest and deep as she kissed Rapunzel’s forehead. Caressing her tear-soaked blouse all Rapunzel could do was nod and hiccup between her loud convulsive gasps and sighs.
The first one to scale down the wall was Nick. He is heavier and both women needed to not only clasp the thick braid with all their might but also make sure the tape would hold his weight and then eventually Rapunzel’s. Once he reached the ground, Rapunzel tossed down his backpack and her modest bag with the small possessions she owned.
He scurried over to get his bike from where he’d hidden it and rolled it over below the foot of the tower while Rapunzel steadily climbed down.
With one last wave and a kiss blown from her palm to Cirilla’s cheek, she straddled the bike after Nick smoothly started it on the first try. A loud gasp escaped her surprised lips and a small giggle masked the fear and excitement bubbling inside of her. They both turned one last time to look at the woman who gave everything up for them.
“We’ll be back soon!” they said in unison truly meaning their broken words.
“Hold on tight baby. The ride can get bumpy.”
Rapunzel’s hands came around his waist. Lacing her fingers together she rested her cheek on his back, inhaling what she now knew was Nick. Cologne mixed with soap and something called aftershave.
“There it is Zelly!” He pointed excitedly at the hue of blue light in the distance. “We’re almost home!”
She braced on tight and closed her eyes as the wind hit her face and her now short hair flew wildly in the air.
“Home” she repeated. It was music to her ears. A home with Nick was more than a dream come true.
One Month Later
“Hurry up, Babe!” She could barely contain her excitement.
Laughing Nick shook his head, “I’m coming, sexy!”
Rapunzel beamed with enthusiasm and exhilaration. Riveting the engine of her new Harley called Cirilla II, she expertly released the clutch once he was secure behind her. She was a natural and eager learner.
She’d jokingly said to him once or twice before, she’d been born to have a powerful machine between her legs. He’d laughed hard, eyes twinkling with mischief as he pushed her unto the large, quilted bed; spreading her legs with his knee, staring straight into her wanton eyes, and grabbed her wrists above her head with tender force.
“That’s right and don’t you forget it!” he growled.
They’d made love then. His body happily taking what she had to give. He’d drawn into her over and over desiring to last all night inside of her. To consume her body into his, like nourishment.
Beaming at her while his eyes rested upon her, he could not express how proud he was of who she had become. Regardless of everything she’d gone through, everything that happened, she was eager to put it all away and live life. It took him very little time to find out how adventurous she actually is and how much of a daredevil; enjoying everything he liked to do and more. She’d been a caged bird and alas the door opened and she was flying at full speed.
Since they’d come back from her world, at first, they took time for themselves. Shared delicious romantic dinners, headed to the beach; which she had never seen, and spent lots of time getting intimate in bed, the shower, the living room rug...
He’d introduced her to a few of his closest friends who immediately took to her. What was not to like? She is funny, easy-going, and loving. Then finally, he introduced her to what he did for a living.
She loved martial arts so much she asked to be taken to where she could exchange her gold and silver pieces so she could buy herself a uniform and begin classes with him. Embracing the new world surrounding her she wished to be independent of him and get her own things; not be a burden.
It turned out she had over nine hundred thousand dollars worth of gold and silver... So, the second thing she purchased after she bought her uniform was a Harley; Cirilla II. Now they were headed to release Cirilla from the damn tower once and for all and Rapunzel couldn’t contain her enthusiasm.
Crossing the hue of dark, blue light as fast as they could he tightly clasped his arms around her waist as she went faster.
Their voices spoke in unison, “Cirilla, Cirilla!! Let down your hair!”
After a short moment, she appeared at the window smiling upon them with tired sad eyes. “My children are back! How I’ve missed you!”
“I’m coming up Cirilla,” Nick said loudly framing his mouth with both his hands. Rapunzel clapped in elation.
Once up, she hugged him to her as the seconds endlessly ticked by and she shed tears. The happiness inside her effervescent.
“How will you get down Knight Nick?”
“With a little something I, unfortunately, didn’t think of the first time around.”
“Just wait and see.” He winked.
While Cirilla safely scaled down he held the base of the long braid that was still duck-taped to the wall and looked around. He’d forgotten how long her hair used to be and how small, grey, and cold the space in the tower actually was. A phantom smile materialized on his lips and he shook his head relieved it was a distant memory. Even if it had only been a month ago they’d faced an uncertain fate.
Finally down on the ground, Cirilla and Rapunzel kissed and hugged.
“Watch Cirilla!” She pointed up at Nick standing on the window frame ready to jump.
“Is he mad?!” Cirilla’s stood open-mouthed and dumbfounded at the diving Nick.
Rapunzel giggled, “Just watch and trust me.”
Nodding slowly Cirilla’s eyes lifted and glued to the small figure that was Nick. She could see he bent his knees and jumped, wind in his face. Her reaction was to look away and avert her eyes but she trusted Rapunzel and knew in the back of her head, he’d somehow be okay.
Up came a huge table-like piece of cloth off his back. Cirilla screamed and laughed oblivious of what was actually happening. Rapunzel’s eyes captured the amusing scene with delight; the stretched, white nylon cords pulling the vibrant red and yellow sown panels making him fly gliding through the troposphere. Her heart soared with love and admiration for the pair of lovers.
“What the ...?!” Came Cirilla’s bewildering words. Her eyes affixed on his silhouette, “I knew he was a wizard!”
Rapunzel’s uncontrollable laugh made her stomach hurt. “It’s called a parachute.”
“B-but, w-why? What ...?!”
Nicolas’s exhilarating scream releasing out of pure thrill. His peptides releasing from his brain as they zigzag to every single receptor cell in his body. Once safely on the ground, he hugged both Cirilla and Rapunzel.
“Cirilla, I can’t believe I didn’t even think of this when Zelly was in the tower. I was so confused with emotion and hurt I was unable to figure it out.” He looked at Cirilla with tenderness. “Zelly was the one who thought of this once she saw and found out what a parachute is used for. My girl’s amazing!” He beamed with pride.
“Yes, she is. You both are my dears.” She took a deep breath. “I took care of the sheriff. He’s gone, never to return and hurt anyone.”
“What is it you did exactly?” Rapunzel’s voice shook a little at the mention of the sheriff.
“Not your concern dear girl. Just know it is done.”
Rapunzel somberly nodded.
Changing the subject quickly with a wide smile, Cirilla looked from one to the other, “Now, who would like to accompany me home and enjoy a hot cup of tea?”
“Absolutely us Cirilla!” He draped his arm around her shoulder, “Let me go camouflage the bike.”
Rapunzel grinned from ear to ear while watching the two interact. He was her home and she was his. Together, they could do anything. She couldn’t wait to spend her life with him and fully know him and his world better.
He kissed her temple. “I love it when you smile,” he whispered in her ear. “I’m the luckiest man alive.”
Indeed they both were as they’d found each other even though they had been worlds apart.
When they arrived back home they bought a house and got a dog.
Her name, Serendipity and they all lived happily ever after.
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