I was caught staring at him, although he was also caught staring back at me. It's as if we're locked inside our own closed-off world, acting oblivious, but we both pretend our intoxication will be sensed.
As time passes by I felt that my heart must be kept hidden. When I first met the son of the Duke of Shion, Kaito Shion, I held a strong hatred towards him. I hated his happy-go-lucky persona, the fact that he's always smiling and his flirtatious attitude towards the girls, and even men! Every time I saw him, my stomach would churn and I would command to my lady-in-waiting that I am to be escorted promptly to my room. How could he act like that even through what happened to him that day? And he never seemed to notice me.
Although not long after, I saw more to what meets the eye. It was a brisk day, with the gray skies hiding the glow of the sun. The kind of day I spent inside. But on this very day my father, the king, requested my presence. Even though I was told not to go through the garden alone, it was a short cut to the king's quarters and I ignored what I was told. As I was strolling through rose bushes I spied that blue haired fiend.
He was crouched down rustling in the rosemary bushes. At first thought I suspected he was trying to poison my garden! What a nerve, I had ruefully thought. I bent down to scoop up a rock the size of my palm and without hesitation, I it threw at him. Unfortunately my poor aim simply caused the rock to hit his shoulder. It didn't seem to hurt him and he simply turned and glared at me.
It was the first time I have ever seen a spiteful look on him and I was surprised to feel a twitch in my heart. His eyes widened as he realized it is I in his presence. He quickly stood up, cradling something in the crook of his left arm and bowed clumsily.
"Princess Miku, I must apologize. I did not realize you were standing before me." He said once again retaining his air of perfection. I scowled and crossed my arms.
"And what are you doing hunched over in the royal garden?" I snapped. I tap the heel of my plush velvet slippers on the cobblestone pathway impatiently. He stepped forward so now it was only the rose bushes between us.
"You see, your Highness, I found an injured dove." he displayed the frail white bird to me. I felt my mouth slightly drop at the sight. "I believe that it is only right for me to help the poor creature." he explained. I stepped forward as well so I could reach out to the bird. I softly brushed my index finger along its head. To my delight it softly cooed.
"You're saving it? When I was only a little girl, I found an injured chipmunk. With utter most urgency I had rushed it home. I went to my father begging for help to save the poor creature. But my father only grew angry and struck me. He then ordered a guard to kill the creature right before me. Since then I never tried to help animals again." I said aloud. I was startled that I had explained such a trivial memory to the likes of him.
"No," I snapped, interrupting him. "Don't get caught with the dove. Go to my chambers and wait for me. Tell the guards I sent you. I know how we can help the bird, but it will be bad if my father finds out. Now I must go to my father's quarters." I began to walk away but the blue boy rudely grabbed my hand.
"You're going without an escort?" he asked. I narrowed my eyes at him.
"I don't need to be babysat." I replied curtly.
My father called me to his quarters so he could inform me that the Duke of Kamui would be visiting in a fortnight. I then ran as fast as I could to my room. Kaito was sitting on my favorite plush chair. He stood when I entered and bowed. I waved my hand to make him stop.
"My nanny from when I was a little girl will help us, surely." I sent a maid to fetch the older lady and while we were waiting, Kaito began to talk.
"Thank you for helping me. I always feel the need to help everyone and everything. You see, when I was a boy, my family and I were caught in a fire and I was the only one who survived. I was sick, injured and orphaned, but a duke took me in out of kindness. The least I can do now is live up to his name and help others the way I was." he chattered.
"That happened to you?" I asked sounding concerned. In my whole life, I've been surrounded by people who are like my family. Never once have I been scarred or badly injured. Once there was someone who attempted to assassinate me, but a noble butler jumped in front of me and took and arrow for me, saving my life at the cost of his.
"Oh yes, sorry. I also have the habit of rambling endlessly. It drove my father insane sometimes, you probably don't want to hear my life story." He chuckled looking down at the dove.
"No! I mean, I don't mind, talking to you that is. You treat me as if we're both on the same level, no one does that." I explained.
"I-" Kaito began, but at that very moment, my old nanny walked into the room.
The next time I approach him, I heave a sigh because around him, I feel far from myself. Now that I know he isn't some fool, but a caring person I felt myself being attracted to him. In the world I see him. In the air I smell him. And my ears can only hear him. Now I wonder what would it be like to taste him? To feel him?
In an ordinary feeling of love, my heart pounds. But with this my heart seems to stop entirely awaiting his touch. I decided that next evening I will set up my trap for him. Even though I'm eagerly after you, I won't leave any traces behind.
"Kaito!" I called from my seat in the garden. Kaito grinned, sprinting over to my bench. He quickly bowed.
"Princess, it's such a delight to see you." He cooed. I smiled.
"Yes of course, as it is to you. But I told you to just call me Miku when we're alone." I lectured. Kaito's left eyebrow shot up.
"But we are not alone." his already husky voice lowered to a barely audible whisper. I nodded and scooted over, motioning for him to sit beside me.
"Where?" I whispered. I neatly folded my hands in my lap like a proper lady.
"Up ahead, third floor terrace. Two rooms to the left of your own." My eyes shot up and I caught a glimpse of a maid crouched down watching us through the bars.
"You have quite the eye." I said bringing my tone back to normal.
"You flatter me." He said handing me a beautiful violet flower that I know not the name of.
"Perhaps I do. And how is your stay at the palace? I trust that it must be quite excellent."
"And it is. Your father has a lovely assortment. The decorations are fabulous." He explains.
"Really?" I asked eagerly. Kaito smiled and nodded. "I'm pleased to hear that! I actually do the decorating myself in the palace. I know it's commoners work, but I enjoy arranging things. I spent a whole 2 years pleading with my father to be in charge. That's the only thing that really occupies my time besides lessons." I explained. Kaito chuckled.
"Somehow I'm not surprised to hear that. Now I was wondering if you would like to join me on a private ride to the falls tomorrow?" My head swiveled so I could stare at him.
"Oh! I would love to! It's been all too long since I've been to the falls.
As I dismissed myself, I realized things are not this clear, my words are all sincere and he's beginning to lower his guard. Something he should know is that of such a dangerous liquid called love, I expect him to drink every last drop.
The next day I put on my younger brother's riding pants and tunic on underneath my gown. I chose a long green one that hides my feet so I can wear boots. I met Kaito at the designated place, the stables. I scowled at the smell as I threw open the wooden door. Kaito turned to look at me and smiled. If not for the fact that he was here, I probably would not be able to bear being in the stables
"Miku! You look great. The stable boy already prepared the horses." he explained.
"Okay. Turn around please?"
"Sure?" He turned around hesitantly and I slipped out of my dress neatly folding it up and slipping it into a rather empty drawer on the wall.
"Okay." Kaito turned back towards me and his eyes went wide momentarily before narrowing.
"What if someone sees you?" he asked. I frowned, shrugging my shoulders.
"That's why we won't get caught." I replied playfully. Kaito chuckled and shaked his head.
"Then we better get going." We safely left the court. As if rusting from time the chains of what is proper seem to fall apart. We carry on seemingly aimlessly until we find ourselves at the falls. It was a glorious view of a 200 feet waterfall falling into a large spring of water that leads into a decent size creek.
"It's beautiful here." I exhaled. Kaito puts his hand on my shoulder and I turn and look into his eyes. Let me just say that inside of him I see myself, hiding in his memories. That day linked with the scent of his fear. For a moment it makes me feel unsure of my choice I had made.
"It is, although it's nothing compared to your beauty." he whispers. I smiled and so does he. Before I know it his soft full lips were pressed against mine. At first he holds back hesitantly but when I wrapped my arms around his neck, he pulls me towards him closer. The kiss was rather sloppy and only passion burns through us. The burning heat making its way through my veins.
In an ordinary feeling of love, my heart pounds. And I had set up this trap for him. Even though I'm the one eagerly chasing him, I hear "Make me yours." whispered against my lips. I smiled. After all this time, my wish had been completed. My task finished. My single goal of the last 8 years. To get him to love me, to be mine.
"Let me just say that inside of you I see myself, hiding in your memories. That fear now to be linked with this scene of your smile. It makes me feel so very in love with you." I said laughing. Kaito's eyes widen uneasily.
"What are you talking about?" He asked with a slight tremble to his voice.
"That day . . . 8 years ago. A certain fire left a boy an orphan. You see, this young princess saw a handsome young boy. He was kind and everyone loved him, including the princess. So one day she told Daddy that she wanted that boy. The next day, there was an 'accidental' fire. There just happened to be a Duke paid by the king to be strolling through the village. He took in the boy for the princess to have, all to herself." I said in a gleeful tone. It was time he knew what he was missing out on. I went through all the trouble to get him a home in the palace to be with me and he never even knew!
"You . . . what?" Kaito growled.
"Aren't I brilliant? I got us to be together! And now your mine, all mine! Don't you know how much I love you?" I cooed. His eyes narrow and he shakes his head as tears began to run down your face. He's so happy that he's crying? How sweet.
"Hey Miku?" he asked. I cocked my head to the side waiting for him to go on. He poured something into his mouth and then steps forward, pushing his face to mine. I was surprised by how violent that kiss was. He forced the liquid into my mouth, making me swallow it. As soon as I did, he reels back, spitting viciously onto the ground.
"What was that?" I demanded angrily. How dare he do that to me!
"Do you know what Cantarella is?" He asked. I shook my head.
"Cantarella is an arsenic powder made from blister beetles. It was used as a poison by the Pope Kiyoteru for political assassinations to make his way to the top until he died by accidentally inhaling the very own poison he made. Nowadays many people of higher class or soldiers will hold vials containing this Cantarella poison. We are instructed to take this poison to protect the country's secrets if we are ever kidnapped. It kills fast and is often called 'Liquor of succession'. Do you know what you just swallowed, princess?" he said the word "princess" harshly as he crushed the glass vial in his hand, causing a small stream of blood to trickle down his arm. My head felt fuzzy, my vision started to fade, and everything started going dark.
"Cantarella?" I wondered aloud. The world went black and as I hit the ground I heard the last thing of my life.
"Sweet dreams, my dear."