"Hello?" An English women's voice snapped me out of my trance. I looked at her. She seemed a little worried. "How did you get in?" I pointed behind me.
"You're American?" She seemed to surprised. I felt excruciatingly uncomfortable but I nodded.
"It's fine." The man stood next to me. I looked up at him. I thoughts was older but up close he looks close to my age, just well put together. I could only wish to be that put together. "Hello, and you are?" He had his arms clasped behind his back. His strong English accent garnished every word.
"Horribly lost." Was all I could manage. He smiled a little.
"That is quite a name." I shook my head at myself.
"Autumn Leon." I stuck out my hand. A smile spread on his face.
"You really must be lost." He looked down at my hand and back up at me. "Prince Hayes Winterhaven." I scrunched my face in embarrassment as I retracted my hand. My face grew warm.
"Isn't your name William?" Did I just correct the Prince on HIS name?
"Prince William Hayes Winterhaven, yes. My fathers name is William as well. In the castle I go by Hayes." Anxiety surged through my.
"Right. Well, I'll just find my own way, thanks." I tried to flake.
"Would you like tea?" He stopped me.
"What?" I twisted my diamond earring.
"Would you like some tea?" He repeated.
"Uh, no. I, I just came for directions." I sputtered. How embarrassing!
"Well where are you going?" His hands never left from behind his back.
"What?" Why was that the only word I could say? A smile spread on his face.
"Do you have a hearing problem?"
"No." I recoiled a little. "A comprehension problem." When I was nervous or flustered I made jokes. It was an annoying I can't help but do.
"Ah." He chuckled. I just stared at him for a moment. He really was beautiful.
"Okay, well." I clapped my hands together. "This was," I shook my head looking for a word to describe what just happened. "something. It was a pleasure to meet you, your highness." I started for the door.
"Where are you going?" He asked again.
"The door?" Prince William smiled again.
"And after the door?"
"The big fountain." I rested my hand on the door knob.
"The big fountain?" He laughed. "Do you mean Divus Divitii?"
"Yeah." I said softly. "I can never remember what it's called." I laughed a little at myself. No matter how many time my friends told me, I'd always call it the fountain. The Prince smiled.
"Well you're in luck, I know where it is."
"Oh, I couldn't be a burden."
"Please, it is no imposition. I'd love to go." I inhaled.
"Okay." He grabbed his mug off his table and his coat from the back of his chair.
"Would you please put this in a to-go cup?" He asked the girl behind the counter then looked at me. "Would you like anything?"
"No, no. You're already doing too much."
"What's your favorite type of tea?"
"I don't like tea." I answered sheepishly.
"You don't like tea?" I scrunched my nose and shook my head.
"No, I'm more of a coffee person."
"They have coffee." He pointed to the menu behind the counter.
"It's," I shook my head a little. "I'm fine, thank you." I smiled. He nodded. She slid him a large cup. I knew he didn't have that much left in his mug, she must have added more.
"Thank you." She bowed as he left. I opened the door. He stopped and put his hand above me on the door. "Ladies first."
"I think royalty trumps the ladies first rule."
"I refuse to let royalty take precedent over chivalry." I huffed a laugh.
"Well, thank you." He followed me out of the door. A car had pulled up in front of the building. Prince William leaned in close.
"Would you like to walk?" I must have been staring at the car. I say car but really it was a limo. A nice one too.
"Uh, you can just tell me where it is and I can walk." I said nervously.
"Why are you trying to get rid of me?"
"I'm not!" I said quickly. "I just don't think our styles mesh, that's all."
"That's why I'm offering to walk."
"I don't think making the Prince of Baltaver walk, is polite." He laughed.
"I'm not holding you to royal standards. I'm asking if you'd like the company or not." A smiled flickered on my face.
After some persuasion the driver of the limo finally agreed to let us walk. Prince William walked with one hand behind his back while the other held his tea.
"Do you always get the cafe to yourself?" I played with the zipper on my jacket.
"Well, people treat royalty kind of like celebrities. It can get a bit mad."
"Crazy." He laughed. I nodded. Being so close to Christmas made it cold in Europe. I looked around and took in the quiet side of Baltaver. "Did you know Divus Divitii translates to God's wealth, roughly."
"So the fountain is God's wealth and he's sharing it with all." He smiled.
"Yes." I nodded and put my hands in my pocket.
"Charming." I smiled at him. "I uh, I hope you don't think I was being rude earlier, I just. I get flustered easy." I stammered. He smiled.
"Honestly, I was a little worried that you didn't like me." I smiled.
"No, just nervous." How could I not like the handsome Prince of Baltaver?
"So, what's your full name Autumn?"
"Autumn Leon." Had he already forgotten?
"Do you have a middle name Miss Leon?"
"Autumn Rayne Leon. Your parents named you after a season and some weather?" I laughed.
"Sort of." I glanced at Prince William then dropped my gaze to my feet.
"My mom died in child birth and her favorite thing in the world was listening to the rain in the fall. My dad wanted to name me in memory of her but not after her, you know?" He was silent. I looked up at him.
"I'm sorry about mum and poking at your name." He stammered a little and his face was sad.
"It's okay." I accidentally brushed my arm on his. "Sorry."
"Did your father ever remarry?" Prince William asked softly.
"Yeah." I nodded slowly. "To my moms best friend."
"Wow." He stuttered a little. I looked at him and smile. "That is," he paused.
"A family picture to see?" I finished for him. He smiled a little.
"I was going to go with a bit mad but yours sounds better." I looked ahead of us. A huge fountain with flowers sat about a hundred feet from us. It was beautiful.
"Oh my god." I whispered.
"What?" He followed my gaze. "Ah, the fountain." Chills raced through my body, not because I was could but because the fountain was so breathtaking. "My family built it hundreds of years ago."
"It's part of the castle?"
"No. It actually lays at the heart of Baltaver."
"Yes, if you look at a map and point to the exact middle of Baltaver, that's where the fountain is."
"Wow." I whispered.
"You seem quite enthralled with it."
"I'm from California, the only pretty things we have are palm trees."
"Palm trees?" I nodded. "I've never seen one."
"They are nothing compared to, how do you say it again?"
"Divus Divitii." He smiled at me. I drew in a breath.
"Yeah, that." I looked back at Divus Divitii. It was so beautiful. I think I could look at it forever.
"Its Prince William!" Someone shouted. A swarm of people pushed for us. My heart started to pound in my chest. I quickly got lost in the crowd. Weaving in and out of people, I finally made it out. I glanced back to see Prince William chatting with everyone and smiling. I sighed, I should know better to know the Prince of Baltaver was never interested in me. Just polite.
Vanessa, Savannah, and Michelle huddled together and scanned the people at the fountain. I'm assuming they were looking for me. Since I happened to be just a touch shorter than the Baltarian average height, they couldn't see me. Finally Savannah glanced over me.
"Autumn!" She screamed. Her arms unlocked with the other two and she full on sprinted at me. Her arms latched around me as she plowed me over in a hug. "We were so scared without you!" Savannah said between sniffles.
"I'm okay." Vanessa and Michelle pilled on. "It's okay." My voice was muffled by her scarf.
"What happened?" Vanessa pealed back. I lift my head.
"I got separated from you guys but I met a really nice guy who helped me find Divus Divitii." Melissa gave me a sad and lovey puppy dog face.
"You remembered what it was called, and how to say it!" I rolled my eyes.
"Okay, have we looked at this fountain?" I broke the tight pack of us girls.
"It's beautiful." We all turned and just watched the fountain roar with life.
"You know, I was told that Divus Divitii roughly translates to God's wealth and the fountain is him sharing it will all of Baltaver." I slid into the conversation.
"Who told you that?" I played with a strand of hair nervously.
"The local guy who gave me direction on how to get here."
"Was he cute?" Savannah playfully bumped me with her hip.
"Yeah." I admitted. Prince William was cute, he was actually very attractive.
"Did you flirt with him?"
"No." I shook my head.
"Why not?" She whined. I shrugged my shoulders.
"We're here to do a job and some sight seeing, not meet Prince Charming." I hated myself for using the term 'Prince Charming' but it was the first thing that came to mind.
"Who says he has to be Prince Charming, he just has to be a good kisser." We all giggled at Savannah. Savannah had always been the guy magnet out of our group. Guys looked at her and fell in love. It was hard not to. Savannah had long, dark hair that paired perfectly with her tan Cuban skin. Her eyes were almost a little beady but it only made her more beautiful. Savannah was one of those girls who could shave her head and get 5 face piercings and guys would still flock to her.
"I want to meet a foreign Prince Charming." Vanessa longed. Vanessa and I were a lot alike in the hopeless romantic department. When we traveled for work her and I always watched romantic comedies together, it was kind of our thing. Vanessa had short, curly, light brown hair. She usually tucked pieces of her hair behind her ear and wore it like that all day, every day. She didn't have Savannah's beauty but she was still so beautiful. She was the tallest of all of us and had the most high heels of all of us too.
"Why can't this just be a girls vacation?" I laughed at Michelle. Michelle was always down to have fun. She actually was the fun. If we weren't dancers who required buns on our heads I'm sure she'd have a pixie cut, but because she can't she had shoulder length, bright blonde hair. I envied Michelle's sense of self, even when we picked on her or someone talked horrible about her outfits were, she just brushed it off like it was nothing. I could never do anything like that.
After watching the fountain for what seemed like forever we made our way back to the street. I took one glance back at where Prince William was, but he was long gone and so was the crowd.
"I want to go to that tea shop." Vanessa pointed at the shop on the corner, the one I met Prince William in.
"You guys can go in, I don't like tea." They ran inside. I went into the store to the left. It was filled with a lot of different figurines and picture frames.
"Hello." The women behind the counter smiled at me.
"Hello." I smiled back.
"Oh you're American." I nodded. "Do you know about our Royal Family?"
"A little." I said softly.
"Well come here, let me show you somethings." I walked up to the counter. She pulled out a photo of the family. "This is King William and his wife Queen Rachel. This is their son Prince William Winterhaven. They helped build this country. Prince William is said to take over the throne in a few years unless an untimely death befalls the King before then, but long live the King." I rocked back and forth on my feet.
"Tell me more about the Prince."
"Handsome isn't he?" I nodded. "Well we don't know much about the Prince. He's kept his live quite private. No future queen on his arm yet. He's become less and less seen now. Rumor has it he likes to hide in his castle." The door opened behind my and I heard my friends scurry in.
"We thought we lost you again." Vanessa threw her arm around me. "Oh, now he's Prince Charming." She looked closer at the Royal Family.
"Prince William can be very charming. He has done a few charities for his father and is very much the apple of a lot of girls eyes."
"Yum." Savannah pushed me to look at the photo better.
"You have a lot of stuff with the Royals on it." Michelle looked around. I hadn't actually looked around, I got distracted with Prince William.
"The Royals are very important here."
"These are cute!" Michelle picked up a pack of candies.
"Oh that was the Princes favorite. He would come in and by a pack or two almost every week when he was a lad." I smiled. I walked next to Michelle and looked at them. "I'm the only shop in all of Baltaver that has them." I grabbed two and brought them to the counter. "Good choice." I smiled at her.
"Its nice to meet you, I'm Abigail."
"Thank you Abigail." I handed her the money and she handed me a small bag.
"My pleasure, Miss Autumn."
We had wondered our way back to the hotel. The whole day was spent exploring all of Baltaver that we could. Michelle was in the bathroom getting ready to turn in while the rest of us laid in our beds. I had almost forgotten my meeting with the Prince this morning. I wondered what he was doing. What does it matter? There is no chance he is thinking of me.
"I always forget how exploring can make you so tired." I smiled at Savannah. She brought me back to reality.
"I agree." I pulled the comforter up higher, I was a little cold.
"I have a weird feeling this trip will be different." Vanessa said. I looked over at her.
"I'm not sure, Baltaver just feels different." I just think it was the cold, being from California we aren't used to it.
"I agree." Michelle added as she climbed into bed with Vanessa.
"And they have a handsome prince." Vanessa gushed. I rolled my eyes.
"You're never going to meet him." I secretly envied her daydreams and her crazy imagination.
"Neither are you!" She shot back. I rolled over in bed. Little did she know, I already had.
"I'm not concerned about meeting a Prince." I finally said. Savannah laughed in my face.
"You've seen almost every Cinderella story that's ever been filmed."
"Those are fiction, fairytales. That doesn't happen in real life." I felt slightly frustrated. She was right I loved that fairytale but those just don't come true.
"You want to meet Prince Charming and what better than a real prince?" She smiled at me.
"Prince Charming isn't real, and the real Prince doesn't have time for peasant girls." Savannah's eyes bounced back and forth between mine.
"I'm tired, goodnight." Michelle flicked off the light. My eyes immediately started to adjust.
"Goodnight." The rest of us said in unison.
"You're not a peasant girl," Savannah whispered. "you're Autumn, and everyone loves Autumn." She rolled over. I'm sure she was talking about the season because I could give you a decent list of people who don't love me, and I've meet everyone on that list.