As I awoke to the birds singing, I relized that it had been two days since I had been inside the castle.
Yes, we used to take trips when mother and father were alive, but when mother got sick, the trips ended.
I had always wondered why we never took trips after my mothers death, but I quickly realized how it just wouldn't be the same.
After father died, I became a slave in my own home, but I had never thought of it that way until about a year ago.
I was now sixteen and should be taking the throne soon, but Claudia would forbid it.
Had she not realized that she had no say?
When both parents of royal blood were deceased, the oldest child was destined for the crown, but since I was so young, Claudia forbade me to do so.
So, now that I was sixteen, I was pretty much old enough to do so, and should be able to without having to have consent....
Although, I seen what Claudia was trying to do.
She was trying to remain Queen for as long as she could.
Her ruling was disasterous.
I had seen how the kingdom had been transformed in the past four years.
A place that once shined like the sun was now darkened by all of the clouds called 'rules'.
Everyone had a curfew.
No one was allowed in the streets after nine.
You could only wear certain colors for certain days, unless you were a guest or royal.
And you were only allowed to do your shopping on certain days.
I found it crazy how controlling Claudia was trying to be.
It wasn't her place to do such, but if I had ever spoke my thoughts, I would surely pay another visit to the dungeon.
Climbing down from my tree, I figured it was time I eat.
I was starving and didn't know what to eat or where to go!
Looking around, I spotted a small stream and went over to drink from it.
At least I would have some water in my system, so I wouldn't get dehydrated.
After drinking from the stream, I looked around to see if I could find anything to eat.
If I could sneak into town, I could buy a loaf of bread, but how on earth would I ever get in without being noticed?
And sure enough someone would report me.
I started walking again, carefully listening for any sounds that were not of the forest.
When I came to another small stream, I happened to notice some fish in it...But how would I catch any of the fish?
Sighing, I realized that I had to try and so I knelt down, waiting for a fish to swim by.
One came within a matter of minutes and when I tried to catch it, I missed, just making a splashing sound in the water.
This would never work...I'd be caught before dusk.
Standing up, I started walking again, hoping to find something to help with the hunger I felt.
* * * *
I was walking thorugh the woods, searching for the lost Princess.
The Guards and Knights had searched the forest more than four times, and had finally retired for some rest.
I had tried to convince Queen Claudia, that if she wanted a me to find the Princess, it would be best to do it without Knights and Guards walking through the woods.
She had agreed and called off the search for them, leaving me to my job.
As I searched high and low, I tried to find the lost Princess that was roaming the woods unnoticed.
And as I was walking, I heard a splash come from nearby.
I quickly and silently followed the sound only to find a young girl standing up and sighing.
Quickly, I took in her appearance and realized who she was.
The girl was breath~taking.
Her long black hair flowed down past the middle of her back, her grey eyes were sparkling and showed her emotions, and her skin was white as the purest of snow...Never had I seen a girl so beautiful!
She started walking I followed behind her silently.
When she walked, she did it with grace and her moves were delicate and soft.
I almost couldn't believe my eyes.
She was so gentle and fragile in a way...Why did the Queen wanna kill her?
With my dagger in hand, I made my move, wrapping a hand around her mouth and spinning her so that she would face me.
Although, she stumbled and fell onto the ground, making me fall with her.
Thankfully, my dagger didn't pierce neither of us, but when I seen her face close up, I was taken again by her beauty.
Her grey eyes screamed with fear and I felt her heart racing beneath my body.
Her lips were a soft shade of red and so kissable.
Her long, thick eyelashes brought out the color of her eyes and she dared not to make a sound, for she knew that she would die if she did.
The Queen couldn't hurt someone so innocent....This wasn't right!
"Winter Snow White." I said her name and it rolled off of my lips so naturally.
She seemed to relax a little underneath me, even though my dagger was aimed at her heart.
"Snow White." I repeated just her middle and last name softly.
"If you're going to kill me~"
"Shhh..." I said. "I could never hurt someone as innocent as you."
Her eyes softened and I got off of her.
I helped her up and held her by her wrist, not giving her the chance to run away.
"Are you alright?" I asked.
"Y~Yes." She replied almost a whisper.
I studied the girl. "What were you doing in the stream?"
"I was trying to catch a fish." She said it like she was being scolded and was afraid that she was going to be punished.
Looking into her eyes, I realized why she trying to catch fish in the stream....Her eyes gave it away.
"You're hungry, aren't you?" I say.
She bites her lip, slowly nodding.
"Come with me." I said and began to lead her to where my small camp was.
She pulled against me. "Please! I don't want to die!" She said a little above a whisper, in a quiet voice.
I turned with a soft, gentle expression. "I won't hurt you Snow White."
The nickname seemed to calm her and she only nodded, letting me lead her.
As we walked back to my camp, I sat her down on the log that I used for a seat and went into my tent.
I was scared that she'd be gone by the time I got back, but to my surprise, she was sitting on the log where I left her.
* * * *
I sat there and when the man returned he sat beside me, handing me something that I realized what jerky.
I look up at him and down at the jerky.
"No, eat. You're starved." He says gently, interrupting me.
I thanked him for the gesture and took the jerky from him, beginning to eat slowly.
After I had taken a few bites, I looked at him.
"You never told me you're name." I said.
"Demetri." He says smiling a little.
"Thank you, Demetri....For not killing me and for giving me something to eat." I said.
His smile widened. "You are welcome, Snow White."
I smiled, looking down.
"I haven't been called that ever since my father died." I say.
"I'm sorry about your fathers death." He says.
Smiling, I met his eyes.
He was incredibly handsome.
"Thank you for your sympathy." I said.
His blue eyes and black hair suited him, but I realized that he wasn't just a commoner.
"Who are you exactly?" I asked.
"Queen Claudia sent me out here to find you and kill you..." He said, making my heart rate speed up a bit. "But now that I've met you, I could never hurt you."
"You're a huntsman." I stated.
He nodded. "Yes, that I am."
"But your job is to kill me." I stated again.
He half smiled. "Snow White, pale as snow and pure as white, you are far beyond the fairest in the land."
Blushing slightly, I looked down, finishing the jerky.
"I can tell that you're graceful and kind-Caring too I must add." He says.
"Thank you, Demetri." I say with a hint of a smile playing on my lips. "You flatter me too much."
"I'm glad I do!" He says smiling widely. "You should be flattered more often so I can see you blush like you are now."
Blushing even more, I looked down, smiling.
"But if you aren't going to kill me, then what are you going to do?" I ask him, seriously.
I watch his expression carefully as his eyes meet mine with a concerned and protective gaze.
"I'm going to help you." He says.
Those words...Just those five words made me feel relieved and protected.
There was a pull towards this man, one that I was not familiar with, but yet it seemed all too familiar.
I was scared of this feeling, but I was also a little curious...And as my eyes gazed into his, suddenly I wasn't so scared anymore.