Michael looked at the castle appearing before him its towers glistening in the morning sun. As the car slowed for a minute he felt his heart race. I have been here before, Michael thought looking at the crumbled walls seeing them as they used to be strong and guarded by archers. He got out of the car looking around in awe. This was the place in his dreams. He heard footsteps coming near seeing Mark.
“Hey brother,” Michael said feeling something was wrong with Mark. “What is up?”
“Nothing,” Mark shook his head avoiding Michael’s stare. “How was your trip?”
“It was ok. I’m exhausted can never sleep on planes,” Michael yawned rubbing his face.
“You can say hello to the others than take a nap,” Mark said hoping Sabrina was still up in her room.
“Sounds good,” Michael followed Mark through the huge doors pausing for a moment when they entered. Michael marveled out the place as they went towards the noise of the others talking. Rob, Susan, Seth and Randy said hello to him as he entered the room.
“Hey Mike about time you got here,” Dave smiled looking up from his breakfast. “Isn’t this place awesome?”
“It’s definitely unforgettable,” Michael stared at the swords hanging over the doorway to the great hall. He was drawn to the one with the serpent on the handle etched in gold. An eerie feeling crawled through his bones as he went closer to it.
“You’re feeling the magic of this place too?” Susan said coming up behind Michael.
“I felt the magic when I passed through the gates,” he murmured using all his will power to look away from the sword.
“Do you want some breakfast?” Susan asked Michael while pouring a cup of coffee for Rob.
“No, I really need to get some sleep,” Michael felt his eyes almost closing.
“Come on I’ll take you to your room. Hopefully on the way I can introduce you to my sister,” Seth jumped out his seat motioning for Michael to follow him. Mark watched his brother go trying to mentally prepare for what would happen when Sabrina and Michael laid eyes on one another.
Michael followed Seth through the halls quietly. Michael ran his hand along one of the stone walls making sure the place was real and not a figment of his imagination. Seth stopped outside one of the doors slowly pushing it open.
“Sabrina, are you decent?” Seth’s voice echoed through the room decorated in all shades of blue.
“Seth, I’m in the shower. I’ll be out soon,” Sabrina’s voice echoed back with the sounds of water before a door slammed close. Michael was wide awake when he heard her voice.
“I’m sorry Mike. Do you want to wait for her?” Seth pulled her door close.
“I’m really tired I’ll meet her later,” Michael felt like his heart was going to beat out of his chest.
“It’ll be easy to bump into her since your room is right across the hall from hers,” Seth opened the door. “We are going to run into town if you need anything the staff is very helpful. Do you need anything?”
“No I’m fine. I’ll see you later,” Michael said going into his room shutting the door behind him. Her voice was still echoing through his head. Is it possible could my princess be real, he thought leaning against the door. He slowly looked around the room.
“Stop living in a dream world. She isn’t real,” Michael said out loud flopping down on the bed closing his eyes.
Sabrina quickly changed into her blue jeans and black V-neck sweater. She opened her door feeling a strange presence. Her heart beat a few beats faster as she tried to figure out why she felt that way.
“Hey Sabrina,” Seth said coming out of his room. “Sorry about bugging you earlier. I just wanted you to meet Mark’s brother Mike.”
“It’s ok. I really wanted to meet him.”
“He was tired from his trip. You’ll meet him tonight,” Seth smiled at her. “I heard you had some company for sleeping last night.”
“It was harmless just cuddling,” Sabrina brushed past Seth heading downstairs.
“Ok I got the hint I’ll drop it,” Seth caught up to her on the stairs.
“Thanks Seth, when I’m ready to talk I will,” she stopped briefly to kiss his cheek before entering the dining hall. Her eyes went immediately to Mark sitting quietly while the others talked looking upset. She said good morning to the others sitting down next to him.
“You ok?” she stared into his piercing eyes.
“Yes,” he tried to smile. “Did you meet my brother?”
“No, I was in the shower.”
“You can meet him tonight,” Mark said breathing a sigh of relief that he would have her to himself for a few more hours.
After breakfast, Dave, Randy, Seth, Mark, and Sabrina headed into town. Mark stayed close by Sabrina’s side as she checked in on her hotels and the restaurant. Sabrina enjoyed his company as they shopped talking about the town’s history. Seth, Dave and Randy did their own exploring finding a tavern to have a few drinks at while they waited for Sabrina and Mark to finish her errands. Mark noticed when she stopped outside the jewelry store looking at all the crosses hanging in the window like she was in a trance.
“What’s the matter baby girl?” Mark touched her shoulder breaking her stare.
“I gave him a cross for protection,” she softly said. “I wonder if it protected him.”
“Sabrina, don’t think about it,” Mark leaned down kissing her forehead. “Come on let’s go find the others and head back.” Sabrina nodded ok letting him guide her through the streets back to the car where Seth, Randy, and Dave were waiting.
“Did you guys buy anything?” Sabrina asked as Seth smiled broadly.
“Look in the back,” Seth handed her the keys. She opened the back door finding a new saddle.
“I guess I know what you’re doing when we get back,” Sabrina laughed as Seth nodded his head yes making the others laugh as Mark started the car starting the journey back to the castle.