Loving a Prince Charming - By Danielle Monsch

Chapter One

“Prince Seth? Prince Seth! Will you please come back? Your tutor is waiting!”

Instead of responding, Seth gripped the hand in his tighter and sped up in his mad dash through the stone corridors of the castle. At an unexpected crossroad, he looked down both paths while he tried to remember what was supposed to be where. If he had been back home it would have been easy to lose her, but here he was unused to the layout and she had reinforcements. Getting away would be a challenge.

He chose the left hallway, but before he took more than two steps the hand in his tugged hard and halted any further forward momentum. “Maybe we should go back. Nana sounded more upset than usual.”

“She’s stressed over my birthday celebration. Like thirteen is a big deal.” Seth looked over his shoulder at his companion. Kira’s green eyes were clouded with indecision and her teeth worried her bottom lip. The sight of her mouth so plump and shiny sent uncomfortable tremors through Seth’s stomach, a sensation that was becoming common around her these last few months. Maybe thirteen was a big deal. “If–” His voice broke, and embarrassment and heat flooded through him when Kira’s rosy lips turned up in a smile. He cleared his throat and threw his chest out. “If we go back, it’s six hours of the Railen Convention. The first thirty pages talk about the dimensions of the negotiating table and the specifications it was built to. Is that how you really want to spend your day?”

Before Kira could answer, the pounding of footsteps got louder, now from the opposite corridor. “Run,” cried Seth, and he shot down the corridor with Kira behind him, her hand still in his.

The loud clatter of footsteps behind him had Seth making turns without thought. Before long, he was in an unfamiliar part of the castle.

Kira squeezed his hand, her palm damp in his. “We’re not allowed to be here.”

“I won’t let them find us,” he said, with perhaps more bravado than truth. His father had been very firm that he was not allowed in this wing of the castle. If they were caught, the consequences would be more severe than what was usually reserved for a childish prank. “We just need to not panic and let them pass us.”

Speaking of, the steps were getting closer again, the shouts more urgent. They too were worried about the king’s reaction if the prince was found here, and their raised tones and quicker pace reflected that fear.

A huge, heavy door lay at the end of the hall. Seth pointed to it. “We’ll hide in there.”

Tension shot through Kira’s frame as she eyed the door warily. “I don’t like it.”

Neither did he, but with ever-growing voices at their back, what choice did they have? “What is going to happen to us in my father’s closest ally’s castle?”

“You have obviously forgotten several stories Nana has told us—”

“I doubt we’re going to find a minotaur or anything like that there. Now, we enter, or we admit to my father where we are. Which do you choose?”

Her eyes narrowed, and he could almost see the words that passed through her mind You’re the one who led us here, not me. But the damage was done, and his father would not accept that excuse. She would be in the same amount of trouble as he was. So with a huff, Kira nodded. “Let’s go.”

The door was heavy and hard to open, and it took both of them pushing to open it, but there was no squeak of hinges to give their position away.

They entered several feet into the pitch-black room, far enough to ascertain that there were no windows lighting the cavernous space. Kira let go of his hand and turned toward the door, saying, “I’m going to grab a torch,” when the door slammed behind them.

Not a speck of light shone in the room. “Kira,” Seth called, swinging his arms in wide circles to find her.

“Seth, I’m over here.”

Her voice was farther away than it had even a moment before. He walked toward her. “Keep talking.”

“Seth, where are you? You sound like you’re all over the place.”

So did she. Seth beat down the panic racing across his skin. “I don’t know what’s going on, but we are fine. Just stay where you are until I can find you.”

“I am staying still, but your voice is getting distant.”

Seth stumbled, but instead of hitting the floor he kept falling – wind

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