He walked passed me and into the garden. I hesitated for a second before following him. The garden room has the same concept as what I have seen so far of this place. Everything has a circular form to it regardless it is a doorway, ceiling, or room. It was a circular garden room with tan stone walkways that shoots out like a shooting star from the middle where the water fountain was. In each section between each walkway were flowers that I have never seen before. They were bright violet, scarlet, sunset, and sky blue. At the end of each walkway were gold pillars that had green vines climbing up.
I followed Prince Raiden until we reached the fountain. He turned around to look at me, his hands behind his back. His quiet regard was nerve-wracking. I couldn’t meet his eyes too long, the power that seems to roll off of him made me nervous and uncomfortable. Averting my eyes, I found solace in looking at the flowers. There was one that looked like a rosebud, closed tightly shut. I touched the tip of the sky blue flower and it opened gently. It’s flower petals changed into a gold blue hue.
I inhaled sharply, amazed at how beautiful it was.
“It’s called Floretica." He spoke suddenly from behind me, and I turned to face him. The flower name rolled off his tongue smoothly.
“It’s beautiful. I have never seen anything like it.” I breathed, still in awe of how beautiful it was.
“That’s because it doesn’t exist in your world. It only grows in my world.” He explained, his expression still indecipherable.
“Your world?” I questioned, my lips pursing into a slight frown.
“This isn’t a dream, Anna May.” He stated with a slight shake of his head.
“How do you know my name?” I asked him, now feeling a little frightened. “God, this feels like a dream.”
“I know everything there is about you.” He replied. “Again, this isn’t a dream. I can assure you that.”
I frowned, “What do you mean? I have never seen a grand palace like this one before in my life. It is surely not real. Not to mention, the last thing I remembered was falling asleep.”
His dark brooding hazelnut eyes flashed with uncertainty. I almost didn’t catch it because he blinked so quickly.
“Anna, you slept walked again and into the water. You made it far enough for me to take you.” He reasoned but what he thought was a reasonable answer, it wasn’t for me.
“What are you saying?” I asked, the calm leaving my body and in its place slithering fear.
“I am saying those stories your grandma has been telling is true. You have been taken, Anna.” He said calmly with no emotions.
Taken? These are only stories. It can’t be true. I will wake up any moment now.
Nothing happened. I didn’t wake up. I pinched myself and nothing happened.
My fear kicked into gear and doubled.
I took a step back.
His jaw ticked as if he knew what I was going to do.
“Anna...” He let go of his hands behind his back and reached out for me.
I turned around before he could grab a hold of me and ran out of the garden room.
I heard him shout my name and for me to stop. I did not wait. I needed to flee. I needed to escape. This was not real. It was a nightmare that I will wake up from.
I passed the familiar wide arched hallway. His feet were pounding behind me. There were two directions I could go. I could go back the way to the room I came from or I can make a dash in the other direction that I have no clue where it will lead me.
“Anna!” He shouted.
I dashed towards the unknown hallway. It led me to another set of double doors. I burst through them, pushing the hard.
It was another grand room.
*It is as grand as below but with sheer gold curtains that hung from the windows down. Outside the window is the sea.*
Two men dressed almost in the same attire as Prince Raiden but with less gold, turned to me in surprise. They heard Prince Raiden’s voice behind me and immediately, one of them dropped what they were doing and started walking towards me. I glanced around me for something to defend myself and saw a large marble vase. I picked it up and flung it at him. Caught off guard, he caught the vase in his hands but went tumbling back.
The other man dropped what he was doing and was now making his way towards me but one sharp ‘leave’ from Prince Raiden stopped him.
I saw two doors in this room. I made a choice and chose the one on the right nearest to the magnificent ceiling to wall window. Long curtains that were sky high hung from those windows.
I was about to dash through the door when something beyond those gold sheer curtains caught my attention.
I stopped breathing. I stopped running. My feet came to a startling halt. Prince Raiden’s footstep stopped the minute he saw me.
One of my hand went to my mouth in horror as my other reached out slowly to open the curtain.
“Oh god,” I whispered in awe and horror.
Outside the window was the sea. The palace was underneath the water. All I saw was miles and miles of azure blue. Beautiful fishes and little sea creatures swam peacefully by the window, uncaring that I was staring at them.
I felt him behind me--not close enough but close enough for me to feel a warmth spread to my back. He placed two hands on my arms and turned me around to face him.
“You can’t run. You can’t go back.” He talked to me as if I was a child.
“Yes! I can! Please just let me go!” I demanded with anger. I moved to punch him but he grabbed my wrist and tugged me closer to him.
“Anna May.” He said and again, I hear the scolding in his voice. “You have to understand, that your life is now here.”
I shook my head, “No, my life is with them. I don’t know you. I don’t know this place.”
“There is no returning.” He said with finality and I felt like my heart was bursting into a million pieces.
I couldn’t bring myself to believe this. There has to be a way. I can’t be here. I turned enough to look back out the window. His hand was still firmly wrapped around the wrist of the arm I tried punching him with.
“Where am I?” I whispered broken.
“Grenagon Realm. This is my kingdom.” He answered.
“There has to be a way...” I pleaded quietly still not believing this was happening to me.
Tears began welling up in my eyes. All I could think about was my family--my mother, father, and grandma. What will they do when they wake up and I am not in bed? My heart hurt with missing them.
“Please let me go. I want to go home.” I said in an almost whisper, my voice cracking under the emotions.
When he didn’t answer me but instead looked at me with those undecipherable eyes, I pushed against his chest in an attempt to run again but he was prepared this time. He yanked me to his hard chest and wrapped his arms around me, placing a palm over my head as he tucked my head under his chin.
Strangely, a part of me felt comfort from his hold. I allowed him to hold me as everything was freaking me out at the moment and he was the only person closest to me right now that made sense. If that even made sense.
“I’m sorry.” Was the only thing he whispered but it did nothing to soothe the ache in my chest.
Suddenly, my muscles felt weak like someone had put a drug into my body. I let out a small sigh and leaned further into him. He caught me before I can collapse onto the floor like a puddle. Prince Raiden then lifted me up in bridal style. My head still neatly tucked under his chin. Exhaustion was falling over me again and I don’t even know how. A second ago, I was perfectly fine.
Prince Raiden started walking out of the room and back down the hall I came from in a calm manner. He didn’t say another word the whole entire way. I wanted to protest. I wanted to scream and demand him to take me back but no words came out. My eyelids were getting heavy. I fluttered them quickly to try to keep myself awake.
He took me back to the bedroom I woke up from. Gently placing me on the bed. He lifted the heavy silk covers from underneath me and tucked me in.
My eyes fluttered close but before I do. I heard him whispering to another person. He didn’t trust me. He had ordered someone to guard the door and not let me out while he took care of matters. If I escaped, he will punish the person he was speaking to severely. A shudder ran through my weak body at his tone. It was cold and supreme. It left no room for arguments.
The last thought in my mind before I fell into a very quick and fast deep sleep was, who really was this Prince Raidon and what did he want with me?