COPYRIGHT © 2019 Miu
All rights reserved.
No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, mechanical, electronical, photocopying, recording or otherwise without the prior written permission of the Author.
This novel is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and events are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.
All pictures and multimedia used are not the author’s work and doesn’t claim any legal rights.
MATURE CONTENT and VULGAR words not suited for young readers below eighteen (18) years old.
The glittering snowflakes fell soundlessly, enveloping everything in a peaceful coldness while the honking of cars in the busy street and the rushing of impatient people in suit and formal clothes going to the office broke the calm the winter season brings.
In contrast, the park Lilybella and Daniel were strolling retained its serenity with the dense naked trees and foliage that lined the pathway blocked most of the chaotic world outside. The park was nothing like those in advertisements or movies on screens where there was a basketball court, tennis court, rollerblading tracks, and skateboard basins. It was a simple acre land of nothing but pristine trees, well-groomed bushes, and flowers, neatly cut and maintained grass, lakes, and ponds that have fishes swimming underneath its layers of frozen water. And the benches that were waiting for any exhausted passerby to take a good rest. It was more like a private garden than a public park, and Everland wanted to maintain it that way.
Lilybella took in the scenery. Her breath rose in visible puffs while her hands pulled her woolen hat, covering her reddened ears before arranging her scarf to protect her lips from the freezing air. She gently rubbed her glove covered hands together, heating her numb fingers. The only sounds echoing around them were the crisp crunching sounds of snow underneath their winter boots.
She peered at the man beside her.
He was younger looking than she expected. She knew Prince Daniel’s appearance way before, but this was actually a first that she got to look at him in person and up close.
He was tall. Way taller than her that she didn’t even reach his shoulders. He got that perfectly combed hair, clean and elegant. And his eyes were the brightest and clearest sky she had ever seen.
She quickly averted her eyes, afraid he might notice she was staring too much. Heat spread across her cheeks. She was still in a state of disbelief. She thought she was dreaming. Couldn’t believe that the Prince of Everland was now her fiancé! A person she could only stare at a distance. A person she secretly admired and dreamed, was now standing beside her –– side by side!
Her breathing hitched when she heard her name from his mouth, and her head snapped in his direction. Her throat dried all too sudden when her face reflected on his bright blue eyes. She could only nod like an idiot and croaked out, “Y-yes, my Prince?”
His brows twitched. Must be he didn’t like it that she called him ‘my Prince?’ Should she call him Daniel? First name basis?!
Her thoughts scrambled when she heard his voice.
“Did you hear what I said?”
She blinked and smiled while tilting her head. “Yes?”
“. . .”
Daniel restrained rolling his eyes towards the sky. He was beginning to entertain the idea of leaving her and go back to the palace. He would rather face the many troubles in court than be together with the ditzy woman.
“I said, do you have a place you wanted to go?” He maintained his courteous behavior even though all he wanted was to act discourteously towards her. For some reason, he didn’t want to be a Prince in front of her. He only wanted to be a rogue so she would cancel their engagement. Like a light bulb appearing over his head, he thought . . . he thought it was not entirely a bad idea!
Lilybella beamed and answered, “Lilybella would like to walk around the park if that is alright, my Pri––err . . . your Highness?”
She changed her words when his brows were about to knit together. She wanted to ask what would be appropriate to call him. Now that they were engaged, should there be some pet names or at least a first name basis? But it would be discourteous without his permission, right?
But before she could voice out her concerns, he was already walking ahead, not stopping for her. She scurried to catch him and realized he was walking in a hurry, wide and heavy steps.
“Alright. After this, I want to go back to the palace. I have many things I have to do.”
She pursed her lips, yet her smile remained unchanged. “Un! Thank you very much, your Highness!”
“. . .”
“. . .”
Minutes passed, and the leisure walk was turning into a jog, for her that is. She was short and was having a hard time catching with the Prince. Still, he didn’t turn nor made any effort to slow down for her. Even so, she didn’t mind. She even had a silly grin on her face.
Jogging to his side, she observed him discretely. He was lean, and she guessed he must have played some kind of sports, and she knew he loves playing basketball. In the morning light, he could easily pass as an adult with his looks and built. Nothing older passed twenty-seven, perhaps. Underneath those clean-shaven face laid thin lips, not red nor pale, just the right amount of color that tempted anyone to stole a kiss.
Her nostrils flared, smelling his scent. Pine trees with a tint of herbs and fruits, maybe wild berries, perhaps? Allured by his scent, her nostrils widened while her eyelids dropped, savoring his scent, and her heart beat more than its intended specs.
Daniel stopped when he no longer felt Lilybella’s presence. He turned to find her standing still, unmoving from her post. He looked at the sky and sighed before stomping his way back to her.
“What’s wrong?” he asked when she was just staring at him, one which sent his fine hairs tingling on end.
There was something wrong with the way she was looking at him with those big, dilating pupils, eyelids droopy. A soft blush tinting her cheeks and puff of steam rose from her parting lips while her fingers interlaced in front of her breasts. And he was startled when she spoke with an unnatural voice in low timbre.
“Your Highness, every time Lilybella look at you, her body turns hot while her heart tightened. When you are near, her mind blanked out, and Lilybella is having difficulty breathing . . . could this be . . .” Her eyes quivered like it was about to melt. “. . . love?”
“. . .”
C-can . . . Can someone . . . Can someone tell me what the hell is wrong with this woman?! She’s not only naive and clumsy –– she’s crazy!
Daniel took a step back when Lilybella took a step forward. He was suddenly uncomfortable to be in her presence while a tingling sense of danger alerted his nerves.
“W-what are you spouting about?” he said, voice almost growling. “There’s no way it can be love. We just met a while ago!”
“But . . . but . . . Lilybella’s heart hurts every time she looks at you, and everything about you is sparkling. Everything inside Lilybella ached to be with you. To look at you. To touch you . . . This must be . . . this really must be love!”
“Yes, this is love. For the first time, Lilybella fell in love. What a wonderful feeling.” She brought her interlaced fingers closer to her heart, and her forlorn, flushed face blossomed a loving smile.
“Listen to me! It’s not! I repeat, it’s not!” Daniel tried to reason. Unaware of how rattled he was. Forgetting he was a Prince who should conduct himself with dignity and grace.
“Ahhhh . . . Your Highness, Isn’t it wonderful? Now that Lilybella is in love with you, we can proceed with the marriage. Thinking about spending the rest of Lilybella’s life with you sent an endless stream of happiness in Lilybella’s veins.”
“. . .”
Daniel really . . . he really, really couldn’t comprehend why his mother wanted him to suffer.
Feeling a headache coupled with his inability to reason with the crazy woman, he turned and walked away, keeping as much distance away from her as much as possible. But he skidded to a stop when his eyes caught something.
Lilybella was still spouting words of love on and on while walking behind Daniel. The barrage of words halted when she saw him standing still, eyes wide and lips parted like he had seen something shocking.
Her eyes followed his line of sight, and what greeted her vision was the form of a woman wrapped in complete mountaineering gears. Fleece jacket underneath an insulating raincoat and waterproof pants, sun-shielding hat, gloves, gaiters with those double boots with hard plastic sheets and soft insulating liners and a large backpack almost the size of her was strap tightly on her back.
Lilybella blinked, tilting her head in confusion until she heard a warm voice beside her.
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