First Page: Unpublished Manuscript (Fiction/Romance)
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Ariana was sitting beside his side, and when the Prince revealed his name: she couldn’t help it. She started to laugh and buried her face in his stomach. Prince Findley, however, did not seem disturbed in the least by this, and didn’t move from his lazy position, but instead, bent one of his knees and crossed the other over it. “Yes, I know. My mother and I have had quite a few squabbles over that one, but I go by Fin. Findley is used only on formal occasions. And…..” he had looked back down to where the Princess had been laughing in his shirt, but she had stopped, and had lain her head sideways on his stomach and lain down that way, so that she was looking at him as he spoke, and smiled at him. The Prince couldn’t help but notice how blue her eyes were, or how much the contrasted with her rich, chestnut hair, which had hints of red in it. And how nice her smile was….and… “Fin??” the Princess asked suddenly, “what are you waiting for? Go on, I’m listening.”
“What else do you want to know?” he asked.
“Well……what do you like to do?” She answered, rolling onto her back and looking up at the sky, oblivious to the fact that he stared at her the whole time he rambled, telling her of the jousting tournaments, and going into detail on a few keen ones he had participated in. Ariana didn’t understand any of it, of course, but she liked to hear his voice.
He slowed. “NO” Ariana said, keep talking!
“Hmm?” he looked lazily down at her, a smile playing on his lips. “I mean…..you were telling me about the best lance to use??” she offered, and set him off rambling on different kinds of lances and best way to use them. They sounded like they were categorized the same way arrows were, and she told him so. He looked down at her, smirking, “You know, I have yet to see you use your alleged “capable skills” with you bow and arrow”
“I am more than capable Prince Findley” Ariana said sweetly. “Alright said Fin “show me.”
Ariana sat up and walked over to where her bow and arrows lay up against a tree and grabbed them. The prince scrambled to his feet and jogged up to his “beloved” and stood behind her as she notched an arrow. “You see that apple hanging from that tree over there?” The prince squinted, “No….” the princess looked over her shoulder, “WAY over there?” the prince squinted harder, “How on earth are you planning on hitting THAT????” but even as he said it, she took a breath in, and released the arrow. All of a sudden, there was no red speck in the woods. The prince’s jaw dropped, “HOW DID YOU HIT THAT APPLE????” she smirked up at him, “Oh, I didn’t. I hit its stem.”
Fins jaw dropped. He looked from Ariana to the tree and back again. Ariana laughed at him and nudged him back down. He leaned up against the tree and she leaned against him. “Tell me about you Ariana” said Fin.
Ariana leaned up against him, sitting in his lap as he played with her hair, “Well…..I love to shoot arrows!”
“Well” said Fin “you must have great aim because you hit me right in the heart.”
“Hardy har har.” Ariana mocked as she leaned her head back to look at his face, as they both chuckled. He looked down into her eyes and continued playing with her hair, ‘And??” he said.
“Well I am – was terrified of marriage to a guy I didn’t know.”
“I also love to horseback ride, preferably without a side saddle.”
“Or any saddle at all for that matter….”
Ariana settled back on Fin as they continued to talk.
“I also like to shoot rude annoying suitors” Ariana said.
With a smirk. Finn squirmed uncomfortably, “Um….do I count? I mean…..I’m your betrothed….so….haven’t I passed the “suitor” stage?”
“I don’t know….I think you are right on the border since I did just meet you.” Ariana said with a remarkably straight face.
Finn didn’t know whether she was serious or not, but he wasn’t sure he wanted to find out, thankfully right then one of his men shouted, “SIRE!!! We’re ready to move out!”
“Hallelujah” Fin said under his breath.
He stood up and offered the princess his hand, “Well your majesty, it looks like we’re ready to move out.” then over his shoulder he called, “Bring the princess a horse!” Ariana stood up, but her eyes grew wide as the ginormous beast was led over to where they stood.
She gulped, “Um Fin…. I think that horse might be…well…um…a little bit too big.” Fin laughed “alright then, you can ride with me.”
Ariana blushed, and would have argued, but she didn’t want the prince to know she was deathly afraid of very large horses, so she consented. He helped her put her foot in the saddle, and then helped her swing up. She sat in the saddle feeling on top of the world. Finn had to see to something with his captain, so he walked off to the side for a moment. Ariana held her head up high and glanced down. This wasn’t so bad….as long as the horse didn’t move. All of a sudden she felt a *thunk* behind her and felt arms circle around her waist. “Ready to go?” Finn asked.
Ariana nearly screamed…until she realized it was Fin. Even though she had been lying on his stomach only moments before the strength of his chest and arms shocked her. She leaned against him and closed her eyes. The last thing she remembered was feeling him lightly kiss her head and then she fell into a deep dreamless sleep.
“Ariana…Ariana…..Ariana…?” Ariana opened her eyes and blinked confusedly. She looked up to see a handsome face staring down at her; she gasped and sat up strait. She looked around disoriented, and then she realized she was in her room, in her bed, and THERE WAS A BOY SITTING BESIDE HER IN BED!!!!! She screamed until she got a closer look at the “boy.” “Fin!?!” she yelled, “WHAT ARE YOU DOING IN MY BED???” “Actually”, said Fin, “this is our bed….well as of tomorrow it will be our bed.” Ariana was confused, “then what are you doing here?” she asked. “Well, I came to wake you up,” said Fin, “we got here so late last night you parents didn’t get to see you, and so we need to go do that.”