Penniville Princess

Lily has always wanted to be a princess. She wanted the castles, dresses, and crowns. The fabulous balls, the jealous friends, but most of all she wanted true love and a happily ever after. When she was little she dreamed about being rich and doing whatever she wanted, whenever she wanted. Now that she was older, living in the small town of Penniville, she knew her dreams of royalty would never come true. With 17 years of constantly being let down, Lily told herself true love and happily ever afters were just part of a fairy tale. But what if she was wrong?


4. The Not So Royal Ball

   His voice was soft but still had so much strength.  It was raspy yet gentle and comforting.  The one word sounded so sweet, so real I couldn't remember what any other word could sound like if it wasn't spoken by him.  It was like learning everything you've ever known was wrong and all you knew was his voice.  I had no idea something could sound so perfect.

   "Please?" He smiled at me.  I sat down again, closer to him this time, never taking my eyes off of him, wanting him to speak more words, to teach me perfection.

   "Lily Dawson, right?"  I nodded.  He laughed.  "Well, I'm Nate if you didn't know."

   I smiled and nodded again.

   "You're beautiful."  I blushed and looked away.  "I'm sorry, I just thought you should know."

   How was I supposed to respond to that?  Should I say something funny to release the tension?  What if he doesn't laugh though?  Should I compliment him too?  Mention his beautiful eyes?  His crooked smile that was difficult not to return?

   Nate's voice interrupted my thoughts.  "You can speak, you know.  I'm not that scary am I?"

   I laughed.  A joke.  I'm glad he was that kind of person.  He was my kind of person.  "I'm sorry, I just never know what to say."  I was looking down at my hands, studying the creases and curves of my palms.

   It was quiet.  The screams of teenagers making bad decisions and the waves smacking against the beach were the only sounds in the background.  It was peaceful, really, sitting there with Nate watching the sun touch the water.  Suddenly my study was interrupted by a much bigger hand wrapping around mine.  He got up from the dirty truck bed, still holding my hand.

   I opened my mouth to speak but he was quicker.  "Dance with me."  I sat there, looking up at him blankly.  Dance?  Like for real dance?  There was no music, there was no one around, and we were in the back of a truck.  "Please?" his voice sounded.  I took a slow breath and nodded.  He smiled that beautiful smile again and pulled me up with so much force I fell into him.  Nate took my elbows and led my arms to wrap around his neck.  They barely reached because of his height.  He placed his hands on the small of my back and started moving.

   "I'm not the best dancer," I said, looking down at his feet moving step by step in some sort of pattern.  I gasped as his hands grabbed my waist and pulled me up.  He slowly set me down on top of his feet and continued dancing.  I laughed remembering how my dad used to do this when I was little.  Watching Cinderella when the prince saw her at the ball, he would pretend to be the prince and ask me to dance.  I would take off my 'glass slippers' and he would set me on his feet and we would dance until So This Is Love endedI missed those dances.

   Nate and I were so close I could feel his chest move with every breath he took.  I prayed he couldn't feel my heart beating a mile a minute.  After a while we stopped dancing and sat down again.  I couldn't stop smiling.  We talked and talked until the sun was completely gone and the other four came back completely intoxicated.

   Nate and I sat in the front seat and drove everyone home, making sure they all got in safe.  Alexis and Jasmine had planned for all three of us to spend the night at Alexis's house and since I still didn't have my keys or my phone, I couldn't argue to go home.  As Nate pulled into the drive way, the four in the back all ran up to the door.

   "Aren't they going to get into trouble with her parents?" Nate asked, watching them run inside.

   I laughed.  "Alexis's parents are on a business trip actually but her neighbors are like Nazis.  So it'll come back to bite her."

   "I never got your number."

   I was surprised by the random comment but was flattered he wanted it.  I smiled and held out my hand for his phone.  He moved in his seat to pull his phone out of his pocket and placed it in my hand.

   "Well while you do that, I'll go get the boys."  He smiled at me and moved to get out of the car but before he could go I reached for his hand.  He turned back to me, confused.  Before he could say another word I slammed my lips against his.  It was like something I'd never felt before, I'd kissed a lot of guys but none had ever felt like that.  There was something there, something new and I liked it.  We pulled away and stared into each other's eyes.  For the slightest second I could see that he felt it too.  He turned and shut the door behind him, walking up to the door.

   I sat back in my seat, the smile on my lips never fading.  I barely knew this guy yet I wanted to be with him.  I wanted to see him every day, I wanted him to want to see me.  I wanted to hear his voice tell me everything's okay when I need it and I want to hear his laugh and see his smile every happy moment there was.  I wanted him and I couldn't understand it.  I'd never felt this way before and for one second everything felt right, I felt like maybe happily ever afters weren't just a lie.

   But then that second ended.

   What was I thinking?  There's no such thing as true love, there's no such thing as a happily ever after, it's not real.  I barely knew this guy and I was doubting everything I've ever believed in.  He was still a great friend though so I did put my number in his phone.

   I got out of the car and just as I shut the door behind me Nate came out the front door.  "They're coming, your friends want you in there though."

   I took a deep breath.  "Nate, um, about what just happened, I-" he was getting closer to me, too close.  "Look, Nate, I can't see you."

   He stopped.  "What?"

   "I just, all I'm trying to do is finish senior year, I don't need anything distracting me and I'm sorry if I gave you a mixed message but . . . I think it would just be better if we were just friends."

   He smiled at me and looked down at his shoes, his hands in his pockets.  "Okay."

   "I-" I stopped.  "Okay?"

   "Yup," he said, slowly getting closer to me.

   "That's all you have to say?  Okay?"

   He continued taking steps closer to me.  "Yeah.  You're scared of something, I can tell.  I'm going to find out what it is and when I do I'm going to crush that fear because we have something, I felt it and I know you felt it too Lily Dawson, I saw it."  He was so close.  I was pressed up against the truck, stuck between his body and the rusty red door.  "And some day Lily, you're going to realize it too, you're going to let me in because I believe in fate.  So doubt however long you want Miss Dawson but when you come to your senses I'll be there waiting, with open arms, ready to be yours.  You just say the words."

   Chad and Ben burst through the door at that exact moment.  Nate stepped back, took my hand in his and lightly kissed the back of my hand like they would do in a movie.  Before I could say a word they were pulling out of the drive way and I was left alone in the darkness with only my thoughts.

   What I just get myself into?

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