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Part 6

If you don't have a smile, I'll give you one of mine - Unknown.

Life isn't about finding yourself, life is about creating yourself- George Shaw


They made it through the castle and into the garden pretty quickly, and Jake couldn't help noticing the grandeur of the castle before him. He was also generally aware of the guards station pretty much every five feet, and wondered briefly how great the threat was against royals, and what they would do to impostors. Since, he wasn't much of a noble, it was heavily on his mind what they would do to him if they ever found out. He was between this thought and how many of them it'd take to capture him and throw him in the dungeon, as they walked through the palace, so it was no surprise the time seemed to float pass quickly.

"I really like being outside at night, I feel so relaxed and free," Elena was saying as they made their way to the garden, breaking him out of his thoughts. He put his hands behind his back and walked a fair distance from her like Puss had suggested.

"It is relaxing...I often enjoy just watching the moon at night, and listening to silence, just to think," he replied honestly, it was probably one of the most honest things he had said all night. She turned back to smile at him, and he couldn't help the smile from crossing his face in return.

"You know, you remind me of a guy I saw before," Elena started, as they entered the hedges of the garden, from this side Jake vaguely recognized it from last time, "He...was a servant, and I only saw him for a few seconds, but his green eyes remind me of yours, Marquis," Jake's heart stopped, she had seen him back then, what if she figured out he wasn't who he claimed to be.

"R-Really?"was his great comeback.

"Yeah," she blushed lightly, "I think he was a bit cute," Jake blushed a bit, he shouldn't be blushing it's not like she was talking about him, well, it's not like she knew she was talking about him...but she did say he reminded her of the guy, so...

" you think I'm cute, as well?" he stammered out, half amazed he got the words out, her face flushed red, and his eyes widened at it, she was beautiful.

"Y-yes," she said, now it was his time for his face to heat up, if Jason saw him now, he would laugh him straight into next year, she continued in the midst of his thoughts,"but cuteness isn't everything, I want to marry a guy with character who stands for something and has standards," she finished, her eyes watching his as if she could see everything about him from looking, and Jake looking back nervously beginning to think with each passing moment that maybe she could. He could almost feel as if she was looking into his soul, her eyes seeing all of his faults, his poverty, his fears...he felt naked in front of her, and he wondered just what she was thinking.

Then she smiled and burst into laughter surprising him, her laugh was musical though, and it made his whole body feel alive, but for the life of him he couldn't understand why she was laughing.

"W-what's wrong?" he questioned nervously, as a few passing eyes watched their beautiful princess uncharacteristically burst into laughter.

"No, nothing," she giggled, he couldn't help but smile at her as she tried to control herself, but failed terribly, "It's just you...I was dead serious, but I didn't expect you to look that nervous," she continued to giggle, and Jake could feel his cheeks heat up, darn, he needed to calm down, what happened to his legendary poker face, "There you go again, the way Puss in Boots talked, I thought you'd be very use to wooing a girl, but even when my mother was teasing us, you were blushing, and seeming almost as embarrassed as me--you keep surprising me by being soo down to earth and innocent," she concluded a playful smile still on her lips. Jake laughed nervously.

"My cat, has a tendency to over exaggerate some things," he said, hinting at all of the lies Puss had been telling, "I...have but one girl I'm interested in...and I fear...I'm not that great at speaking to her," Jake admitted, his words were vague, I mean how do you tell the Princess of a Kingdom you like her, when you're a poor miller's son, but the look that he gave her as he stared into her eyes he hoped would convey his feelings. Her eyes seemed to pierce him, as she looked at him intensely also.

"You're...different....from most of them," she said softly, his eyes never left hers, to be honest he probably didn't even have the strength to look away even if he wanted to, and he definitely didn't want to. If time stopped right then, he would have lived a satisfactory 20 years. "You speak well, polite but..." her hand raised and gently touched his face, "your smile is genuine...your's like they speak volumes about you, how hard you you keep pressing on, how you worked hard for everything you have right now..." her voice trailed off, and again Jake's seemingly fragile heart seemed to stop again, wishing he could hear her voice again, "like everything that you're doing, seeing is so important, and you don't want to miss a it's precious. It's so different," she concluded. She took a step back, and shook her head, and Jake raised his only noticing that they were only inches a part a few moments before, yet missing it instantly. "Most nobles, are born into nobility, everything they want is handed to them, they don't really have a reason for anything, besides it was what was done before, they're not only quite dull...but they're sad, they don't seem to be living, or caring about living, but with every fibre of your body, even though sometimes you try to hide it behind a mask, your body," she said, looking him over completely, from the tone muscles on his chest, to the muscles even on his legs, back up to the tension in his jaw, and a nose that looked like it had been broken at least once, "it screams that you're fighting for something."

Jake's eyes took in her figure, now four clear feet away from him. Was he fighting for something? Ask him that three months ago he'd probably have to say no. In a way, he was like those noblemen, who just lived day by day with no purpose, or desire, not because he was rich, but because he was poor...and he thought it was fine. Jake took a step towards her.

He had always thought it would be okay to live like that, no desires, no dreams, not allowing your emotions to guide you into dreaming, or desiring something. He honestly thought that it was okay, that it was best not to even have desires, to bury any hint of his feelings and just go through life, and that was enough but....after meeting her, he was starting to realize, after arguing with Puss for weeks it was becoming clear to him, his feelings fueled his desire to live, and because of that he was definitely changing. He had never worked so hard to improve himself, to become better, than he had worked when Puss said he could have the one thing he desired, a future with her. He had never spoken up for someone and not given in to someone else's demands. He never looked up during a work day and noticed the sky, the clouds and their beauty until he was waiting with excitement to hear what Puss would say about the King and princess that day. He took another step, and easily he was towering over her, her small face looking up at him with those big brown eyes he had been dreaming of since he first laid eyes on her. Even from two weeks ago, he never worked harder, listening to that annoying cat just to get here, to impress her. Jake's hands went up cupping her face, and he lowered his head slowly, her eyes widened a bit, and her faint blush returned.

"I am...really not that different, Princess," Jake said softly, "I'm just the man who's fighting the most to reach you." With that he lowered himself closer, closing his eyes, wanting to touch her beautiful, soft lips against his, dimly aware of the fact she was also closing her's.


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