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Chapter 9 - Song Ends
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     This evening is turning out be a blast. Also, watching the Prince try to avoid certain ladies has been great entertainment. Titian has been making his usual rounds, making sure to flatter any woman in his way.
     My sister has been performing her heart out this evening. She truly is spectacular on the stage. Becca on the other hand has had a line of men shadowing her every step in hopes of a dance. Poor guys.
     “How’s it going Sis?” Sarca says panting.
     “All is well, and you?”
     Gulp, gulp, gulp, “Ah, that was good.”
     “Drinking a river are we?”
     She hides her smile behind her hand and blushes. “This ball is amazing. By the way, I haven’t seen you and Titus out on the floor together.”
     Gah, I nearly choked on my water. “What makes you think he has the time to dance with me?”
     “Make time,” she spins me around to see him trapped by a horde of anxious females. “Your prince needs rescuing.”
     “But…”
     “I have the perfect song for you two.”
     “Sarca…,” I glance at her and shrug my shoulders in defeat; I know she won’t back down. “Alright, I’m going.” Her hug is filled with encouragement and then she gives a soft shove in the right direction.
     “You look great your Highness,” a girl declares.
     “Do you believe in love at first sight?” another inquires.
     “You’re so strong, you must train a lot,” yet another states.
     “He trains with me,” I butt in and like the parting of the sea, they clear a path.
     “Shaina,” Titus says with a bow.
     “My Prince, I have come to kidnap you for one dance.”
     He smiles, “I’d be honored.” He takes my hand, “Please excuse me ladies,” and leads the way to the floor. All of the girls are frozen in place, stunned at what just occurred.
     “You have no idea how grateful I am for taking me away.”
     “it was Sarca who noticed you needed rescuing.”
     “You’ll have to thank her for me.”
     “You already are.”
     “What do you mean?”
     “By dancing with me you’re thanking her.”
     “I see, I suppose everyone is happy then”
     “With the exception of your loyal fan club.” We laugh together and applaud as Sacra returns to the stage.
     “Is everyone having as much as I am?” The crowd cheers in response. “This next song is dedicated to some special people, and you know who you are. Enjoy the bliss of Innocence.”

Waking up I see everything is ok
The first time in my life and now it’s so great
Slowing down I look around and I’m so amazed
I think about the little things that make life great
I wouldn’t change a thing about it
This is the best feeling

This innocence is brilliant,
I hope that it will stay
This moment is perfect, please don’t go away,
I need you now
And I’ll hold on to it, don’t you let it pass you by

I found a place so safe, not a single tear
The first time in my life and now it’s so clear
Feel calm I belong, I’m so happy here
It’s so strong and now I let myself be sincere
I wouldn’t change a thing about it
This is the best feeling

This innocence is brilliant,
I hope that it will stay
This moment is perfect, please don’t go away,
I need you now
And I’ll hold on to it, don’t you let it pass you by

It’s a state of bliss you think you’re dreaming
It’s the happiness inside that you’re feeling
It’s so beautiful it makes you wanna cry

It’s so beautiful it makes you want to cry

This innocence is brilliant, it makes you want to cry
This innocence is brilliance, please don’t go away
Cause I need you now
And I’ll hold on to it, don’t you let it pass you by

This innocence is brilliant,
I hope that it will stay
This moment is perfect, please don’t go away,
I need you now
And I’ll hold on to it, don’t you let it pass you by

     I didn’t even notice the song had ended, but it’s not as though we’re moving. My lips are locked with his and how this came about I don’t even remember. Afterward our lips parted and we simply smile at one another causing me to blush. I’m not used to him looking at me that way.
     “May I cut in,” a voice breaks through.
     We look to see who was asking. Gasp. “Shaina, what’s wrong?” Titus asks and pulls me close.
     “How about it Princess; would you do me the honor of the next dance?” he holds out his hand to me. His eyes pierce through me.
     I cling to Titus tightly. “I don’t think she wants to dance with you.”
     “Not even for old time’s sake?”
     “Old time’s… you’re Adamar!” Titus’s hold on me tightens and he turns us so that he now stands between me and Adamar.
     With a smirk on his face, Adamar bows, “Indeed, I am Adamar. It’s an honor to finally meet you Prince Titus. Please excuse my rudeness. I came here uninvited.” He looks at me again, those eyes… I feel funny.
     “You murdered those people, that town,” Titus proclaims. “Shaina, go find Titian.”
     “Princess, let us leave this place. I believe I’ve worn out my welcome.” Yet again he holds his hand out to me. “Come, my love.”
     “How dare- Shaina, what are you doing?!”
     I can’t seem to control myself, I give my hand to Adamar and join him at his side.
     “Shaina!” Blast. Suddenly the room temporarily goes silent then turns to screams.
     “Sister! Release her at once!” Blast. “Ahhhh!” She crashes into a wall. Damn this spell.
     “Sarca, hold on-” Blast. Now Becca is collapsed next to Sarca.
     Adamar puts his arm around my shoulder and leads me out of the hall. I can hear the Princes trying to grab my attention over the panicking crowd as I walk away.
     Outside, Adamar walks me over to the small lake we have on the grounds. The moon is full and bright and… red. That can’t be a good sign. He faces me, “My dear, I shall take you away to some place safe. No one will ever bother us and we can live happily together forever.”
     A single tear manages to fall down my cheek.
     “Leave her alone!” Titus yells. He has scrapes and bruises from getting through the crowd and then the trees.
     Adamar lets out a boastful laugh. “And what will you do human?”
     “Ask for help.”
     “Oh? From whom?”
     “Me you scum!” Night Crawler is soaring through the sky ready to attack.
     “You’re still alive you pathetic excuse for a guardian?”
     “Bastard!” Night Crawler powers up.
     “Right, let’s do this. Artimus, release!” Adamar turns stunned. Titus’ blade shatters to reveal a blade of light. “I will set Shaina free even if it kills me.”
     Annoyed, Adamar turns to me. The he had cast is starting to wear, but instead of panicking he smirks.
     “We’re going to wipe that smirk off that smug face of yours.”
     “Heh, you think so?” He pulls me in and just like that I feel his lips pressed against mine. Why me? Tears stream from my eyes as I fight to keep my eyes open.
     “What did you do to her, monster!?” Titus screams.
     “What indeed. I’ve simply placed a sleep spell on her. Of course the catch is that only my kiss can wake her.”
     Hearing that make the tears flow more, I have to fight this. “Titus… kill me,” I manage to say.
     “What?!” everyone says in disbelief.
     “I won’t do it Shaina,” Titus’ grip on Artimus tightens.
     “Me neither,” Night Crawler proclaims up above.
     “Princess, don’t be so rash.”
     I’m running out of time… must tell him… to… ug. I think my lips are moving but I can’t tell if anything is coming out. It’s growing dark… so dark.


* Song lyrics Innocence © of Avril Lavigne.

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