*15* I Don't Believe in Fairytales, But I Believe in You and Me.LAST CHAPTER
“You’re not a monster,” I cried after twenty minutes of nothing but the image of Nik dying before me. “You’re not…”
From the moment I saw him wince on stage, I knew something was wrong with Nik. But then and now are two different things.
“What’s the point of living a curse you can’t break?”
His voice still rang out in my mind.
“Yes you can,” I said, meaning to think it instead. “You can break the curse, just…just stay with me…please, Nik.”
I was tugging and pulling at his black fur as I shook him. I was also crying, but before the tears fell, I’d wipe them. I threw myself into a hug around his collarbone. I’d stay with him no matter if he was dead or alive.
“I’m not leaving you, Nik,” I said between clenched teeth. “I don’t care if you die as a teenage boy that teases me in the way I can’t help but love; or a…creature that you can’t help but see the beauty in; I will not leave you…”
A single tear fell into his furry coat and I hugged him once more before kissing his face, by his muzzle. I scooted away to the couch and sat against it, crying behind my locks of hair that fell into my face now.
This was my fault. All of it. I shouldn’t have ever avoided him—especially when he gave me freedom. I could’ve been his escape to the curse, but it killed him in the meantime. I stood up, uneasy, and looked down at the broken glass on the wooden floor.
To take a life, rather be to take your own…
I picked up the glass and held it up to myself, breathing heavily in my mother’s dress.
The heir to the throne shall revolve at sunset, on the brink of night.
Doves of love will take flight.
But if you miss your opportunity, it shall be the death of the spawn of a tree…
The prince will turn at the beginning of each night.
Love will take place.
But if it fails—if I fail…it will be the death of a plant.
The old hag’s words from long ago made sense now. I just wish I could’ve seen the beautiful plant die as it was about to take two lives, rather than one.
“Don’t,” I heard a voice say right as the blade touched my skin. I looked over my shoulder to see Nik appear, now standing above me in torn clothes from his…transformation. I wiped my eyes to make sure I was seeing right and then all it took was him kneeling down and I slammed into a hug with him.
“I don’t understand,” I whispered in his shoulder with my face buried.
“Neither do I…” he said, confused. He pulled at my waist to release me. I gulped as I stared at his face. He brushed back my hair. “All I know, is that I never want to die again.”
I managed to force a smile, which led to brief laughing that matched his. But then his face got serious as his eyes searched mine.
“I can honestly say, I don’t want that either,” I said like an idiot.
“Mmh,” he hummed. I awkwardly climbed off of him and wiped whatever remaining tears I had to spare embarrassment.
“I guess you should get cleaned up to get back to the party,” I figured, nodding. He nodded as well.
“I’m hoping there’s an extra suit around here,” he said.
“Well, good luck,” I said, turning around to leave.
I’m so stupid. I should’ve thanked him and confessed that I was secretly in love with him from the first time we met.
“Thanks,” he muttered. I looked over my shoulder.
“It’s you I should be thanking,” I smiled.
“I beg to differ,” he winked. I smiled and gave a playful eye roll. “Promise me something?”
I turned and teasingly bowed down slightly.
“Anything, your highness,” I mocked.
“Stay at the party,” he said seriously as the shadows blocked his face. “Enjoy it for all it’s worth.”
“As you wish,” I replied before turning to officially leave. Why would I enjoy the party of the man, whom I loved when he would go right back onto that stage and declare some girl of a potential future of being his wife?
“What happened?” Kelly asked me immediately. I nodded continuously. “Are you okay?”
“Where’s Nik?” Emmett asked.
“Back in the castle,” I answered. He started to walk around me, but I stopped him. “I think he can handle it.”
He gave me a confused look.
“Wait did he…turn?” he asked. I gulped, not even realizing that Emmett knew.
“The bigger question should be did he turn back,” I replied, leaving questions that couldn’t be answered here and now because Blue had attacked me with questions about my well-being.
“Calm down,” I laughed. “Did you enjoy you’re five seconds of fame on that stage?”
“Are you kidding? No one even knew that I existed until that,” he commented. “But it’s not about me now…”
He gave me a weird look, that I mimicked. We broke out into laughter and I tried to keep my mind from wandering.
“Sorry about that,” Prince Nikolai started nearly an hour later on the stage. He was in an almost exact suit. “Where was I? Oh right, the lucky lady bit.”
I noticed the girls trying to contain their inner squeals.
“This entire land knows what Candace and I had. Six years of the ‘perfect relationship’,” he started. Great to know he’d pick the girl that gave me h3ll for the last six years…I started to shift positions, nervously. “And then you all know that we broke up for…differences. Only so I could get with Amy St. Claire…an amazing girl.”
The crowd started to awe. Curse his charm.
“But you see, at eighteen, I don’t feel that I should have to choose someone of an empty promise. Especially someone that the public assumed I was to love automatically. Following every step of our relationship in some tabloid,” he countered. What was his angle now?
“So who is it? Candace or Amy!” some guy yelled from the audience. I scoffed.
“Neither,” Nik answered, causing side conversations. “I don’t choose either of them. Whether it be a noble friend that I’ve known my whole life, or a girl that changed my life in few occurrences and was instantly my best friend. It will be someone that no one expected.”
“Ahem!” Emmett said loudly.
“Girl best friend,” Nik winked at him. “I still got a heart for my bromance with you.”
The crowd laughed at their humor as Emmett held up a heart to Nik that was made from his hands.
“I think I’m gonna just go,” I said, starting to leave. But Kelly and Blue each grabbed my arm and turned me back around.
“So…which lucky girl wants to be my future wife?” Nik asked. Immediately, girls went wild. I turned to my friends.
“That’s my cue to leave,” I figured. They crossed their arms and gave me a look. I sighed in defeat.
“Oh, but here’s the catch!” Nik yelled into the mic. He walked off stage briefly and then came out with a box. He opened the lid and then held up a single shoe. “Your foot must fit into this shoe.”
I narrowed my eyes and saw the shoe to be the same, sparkly and white shoe that belonged to my mother before it was worn by me. Not only did he keep the one I left behind, but also had the one shoe that was with myself. He chooses now of all times to look for her?
I turned and immediately saw Blue and Kelly.
“I’m just gonna go get some punch,” I assured. They gave each other a look and then allowed me to pass. I made it to the food area, hearing girls excited for getting to try on the shoe—and also cries of disappointment when they realized that their feet would never fit.
I grabbed a cup to fill, but the manicured hand of Candace Pint took it from me. He narrowed her eyes at me as I shook my head. B!tch…
I grabbed another cup, but it was taken from me too. I looked up and dropped my arms thinking “Seriously?” but then I found the person to be filling up my cup with the punch and handing me back the glass. I looked up to them.
“Thanks…” I started, getting suspicious.
“No problem,” the boy’s deep voice said. It was just as the first time we ever met. He still had hazel, green, and blue eyes, but now they didn’t hide behind a mask. I also saw them for their green flavor that had once been lit up with the uniqueness from a certain curse. Along with that, I still saw some dimples on his cheeks which were covered with a few freckles and a smile. But unlike the night of the annual ball, I didn’t need him to flip his dark shaggy hair out of the way to reveal these traits. “I thought it would be the gentleman-ly thing to do considering we wouldn’t want your beautiful dress ruined, would we?”
I smirked at his angle. I sat the glass down and let him humor me. But I ended up finding him kneeling down beneath me.
“May I?” he asked, gesturing to my foot. I bowed my head lightly.
“As you wish, your highness,” I teased. He removed the uncomfortable, too-big black and navy shoes that I stole from Leticia and then replaced it with the white and silver shoe that fit perfectly. He stood up with a crooked and adorable smile.
“May I have this dance?” he asked, holding out a hand.
“You know, Prince Nikolai, I was under the impression that you could have anything you wanted,” I flirted. He cocked an eyebrow. “It still proves to be true.”
I grabbed his hand and he led me onto the dance floor. His hands went to my waist as mine went to his high shoulders.
“Someone no one expected?” I asked, trying to figure out what he had tried to distract.
“No one expected me to fall in love with a girl who I’d met at a ball and lost her shoes,” he replied with a smile as he looked above me.
“You mean shoe,” I caught, purposely not mentioning the fact that he just fell in love with me.
“Yeah, yeah. You eventually lost the other one,” he replied, with a straight face that caused me to laugh.
“Speaking of which, do you have the match? Leticia’s shoes are killing me, not to mention how awkward it is to have two shoes of different heights,” I mentioned. He turned his head, odd and then left for a quick moment to fetch my other shoe. I quickly changed and dropped about two inches from where I was.
“You know, you’re really short for a volleyball player,” he commented, once we were back in a dancing position. I hugged myself into him.
“You know, you’re cuter when you shut up,” I said in his chest. He rested his head on mine.
“My, my, Miss St. Claire,” he commented. “Such a mouth toward a royal.”
“Royal my a$$,” I laughed. He pulled me away.
“You’re lucky you’re you,” he said. “If anyone other than you, or Emmett said that, I’d have their head.”
“Oh please. You’re completely soft,” I laughed. He narrowed his eyes and stopped dancing.
“That’s it. I call a redo,” he said.
“On what?” I asked, confused and humorous. He snatched me up by the waist and spun me around.
“On you being you,” he said at that time. I rolled my eyes.
“You can’t give me back,” I said to him in a calm voice, looking up at him. His face dropped as mine did and I knew things would start to get serious.
“Why didn’t you tell me that you were the girl at the annual ball?” he asked. I gulped.
“Why didn’t tell me that you had a curse?” I asked in return.
“That’s a different topic. Stick to my question,” he ordered.
“How’s it different?” I sort of stalled.
“I hid the fact that I turned into a beast nearly every night from a curse…and you hid the fact that you put on a pair of heels and a dress with a mask,” he recalled.
“So? I thought that you’d want nothing to do with me if you found out who I really was,” I whispered.
“Well now I want everything to do with you,” he reasoned.
“Ditto,” I nodded. “Now, why were you so afraid of telling me about your little secret?”
“It wasn’t little,” he said. As we spoke, I noticed that we were now spinning, getting faster and faster. All eyes were on us.
“Still,” I stated. “Why didn’t you tell me?”
He stopped spinning us.
“For the same reason you didn’t tell me,” he said. “I felt like I’d never be accepted when someone found out about me being a monster.”
I reached my hand up to his hair that was gelled back.
“I thought monsters were supposed to be scary,” I reasoned, making him laugh.
“Yes; let’s focus on how scary I am, aside from the fact of never having a life after sunset or the potential of hurting people,” he said, sarcastically. His breathy laugh hit my face. “Amy, you are quite different from the rest of the girls in this world.”
“You’ve met all the girls in this world?” I asked, interested.
“I don’t need to,” he said. He brought his face close to mine. “Cuz you are my world.”
“How do I know that’s not some line some player made up to charm girls?” I asked, looking directly into his eyes.
“Because you’re the coach,” he whispered. Our eyes closed and our lips touched with a spark. My fingers ran through his thin hair and his hands played at my waist. I felt his tongue with mine and his lips which had a taste that I would never give up in a million years. I pulled away, laughing in embarrassment.
“My mom wouldn’t be too happy, knowing that a couple of teenagers just made out in her wedding dress,” I laughed, muffled by his chest. He took me into a warm embrace.
“She did it too,” he reminded.
“Yeah, but that doesn’t count,” I giggled. I pulled away and grabbed the end of his shirt. “So Prince Nikolai, who’s this amazing girl you were talking about? The lucky girl that could possibly share your future?”
“Oh. I think everyone knows who it is now,” he said before leaning down and pressing his lips to mine once more. But this time, there was more hype than just from me. The audience was legitimately clapping for us. I smiled in our kiss and wrapped my arms around his neck to keep it that way.
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