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Chapter 1: she was not a princess.
She was not weak.
She was iridescent. She shone like the sun and glittered like gold, and everything around her paled in comparison. She was a million variations of perfection, and he coveted her like he coveted no other. He was hers, completely and truly, yet she was not his. She was her own, and she made it known. She was headstrong, she was confident, and slowly he fell deeper into his spiral of obsession.
"How could he think he could tell me what to do like that – I'll show him, I'll show him good," she snarled, bending down to pick up her fallen wand. A deep welt had formed above her eyebrow, drizzling crimson down her flushed cheek.
Her eyes glowed with anger, hissing silver sparks and crackling with electricity – she looked alive. But the more she lived, the more he died – like she was glowing, but he was fading. She relied on him, and stole his light as she stole his heart.
"You're hurt," he murmured, smoothing silver blonde hair off her forehead, before the scarlet blood could infect it. She pulled away sharply, and gruffly wiped the back of her hand across the cut. A flinch of pain shot across her eyes, but she smothered it. She was not weak. She would not be weak.
"I'm fine." It was a snap – it took less than a second and next to no breath from her lips. It was pushed out a begrudging comfort to him. She was not weak. He was not allowed to believe she was weak. He too, had to believe the facade.
She was not his.
Her lips were cherry red, permanently this way from years of chewing on them in nervousness. They were chapped, and teeth marks seemed to be constantly carved into her fuller lower lip. They were the object of many a man's attention – and she knew that. She wanted that. She flaunted that.
And once again he was staring at her cherry red lips from across the room, but this time for more admirable purposes. She was sitting close, too close, to a lanky boy on the couch, leaning close to whisper something in his ear with her cherry red lips. He loved the way her lips pressed together to form certain words, the confidence she exuded – no man would deny her. She could not be rejected.
And then the cherry red lips were gone, hidden by the mouth of whatever undeserving toy she was with now. He flinched like he had been burned, and pressed his eyes closed. He didn't want to see. He had seen enough of that to last him forever. The images were permanently carved onto the backs of his eyelids, free to watch when she was no longer there to chase the nightmares away.
Suddenly there were flowers. Summer flowers. Summer flowers drenched in sunlight – that's what she smelled like. It was intoxicating, addicting, and he was hooked.
"Why do you do this to me?" His eyes were not open, and his voice was nothing more than a whisper – too low for her to hear the currents running through it. Pain. Regret. Bitterness. Anger. She wouldn't have cared either way. She wasn't weak enough to care.
"Because I can," she whispered back, her cherry red lips no longer a distraction from behind the safety of his closed eyes. It was sick, and it was twisted, but it was true. She could. She could wrap him around her finger and leave him there to dwell, or drop him sharply and send him spiralling once again. Which it was depended on the day, her mood – she was not one for forever.
"You're cruel." It was true. She was. Cruel and twisted, yes, yet beautiful and enchanting. Why she had to be such an eclectic mix was unfair, and unbeknownst to him.
"I know," she sighed. His eyes remained closed. She gave up. She didn't want to hurt him – that was the last thing she wanted. But she couldn't let him close enough – being close meant he could hurt her. Hurt meant weakness. She was not weak.
She was not trapped.
"It's beautiful," she whispered, her voice floating out to mingle with the flowers. It was warm coffee on a cold winter morning, a cool breeze in a warm summer's day – it was the soundtrack of his life. It was beauty.
"As are you," he murmured back. Their feet were bare, their toes curled up in the long grass. Her hands were dragging through the dewy blades, a rare and wide smile spread across her face. Her hair was fanned out across the ground. Her smile dropped, and she cracked open one eye.
"Beauty is only skin deep," she warned, and he knew what she meant. She was cruel, and she was twisted – no man could love her like that. Yet he did. Her looks were irrelevant. Her bright soul was what he coveted, regardless of looks. But she could not see that. She was blind to his belief, only seeing herself as a narcissistic creature fit only for aesthetic use.
It was sick, but it was her. She was free to do as she pleased. She wanted to be free – she was no fairytale princess locked in a tower waiting for her Prince Charming. She was her own heroine, and she needed no one. Reliance on others was a weakness. She was not weak.
"True," he agreed, "but beautiful is also a state of the soul. Your soul, for example, is a glass lake." She shook her head defiantly, disrupting the shimmering halo around her head. But he did not care. She could disagree as much as she pleased, he was right.
"You're wrong." To believe him would be weak. She was not weak.
She was not there.
Pain. Pain everywhere. In his head, in his chest, in his heart. Indescribable pain. That man had had no right to talk about her like that. He deserved what he got. He would defend her against anyone who spoke of her like that. She was worth the pain. He would take this every day for her, because she was worth it. He prayed she was worth it.
"What did you do – what did you do?" Her voice was shrill, and he winced. Normally tinkling bells and singing birds, it was now shattering glass. It shattered his heart too, and it sprinkled to the floor like glitter with the pieces of her voice.
"It was for you."
"I don't need you defending me! I can look after myself!" Her voice grew shriller still, no longer a birdsong. It was no longer on the soundtrack to his heart, but a broken record that lay discarded in the bottom of the trunk. It was splintered, infused with anger, ice cold... it was painful.
"I know you can. I did it because I wanted to. You're big believer in free will – believe in mine." She swelled with anger, and took a step closer. They were toe to toe, eye to eye, chest to chest. Her breathing was laboured. He was calm.
For once, he was the one with his feet on the ground, his head not floating around the clouds. She was up in space, the rug pulled from under her feet – all because his face was a living reminder that she was not cocooned in her own little shell, that she was not indestructible. That she was not dispensable to everyone.
"Don't ever do it again," she snarled. "I am not weak. I don't need to be protected. You're not Prince Charming, and I'm not a princess – let's leave it there."
Her eyes were spitting silver fire, almost burning him with their sheer fury. She had rendered herself speechless. There was nothing she could think of that would constitute someone doing that for her. She wouldn't stand for it.
She whipped around, slicks of silver strands flying around like the tip of a sword, before settling down her back, and sparkling as she quickly made her way to... anywhere. Anywhere he wasn't would do. She was not weak. She did not need him.
"Princess," he called, and she froze where she stood. Never before had he called her something so spiteful – in her eyes, the worst thing she could be called. He suddenly felt her hold slipping - just a little. Enough for him to breathe. He felt free, strong – he saw her for what she was. "Princess, you're weak. You're weak enough to believe you're not."
She blinked twice, turned on her heel and walked out of his life. She wouldn't listen to him. He didn't know anything about her. She was not beautiful and she was not perfect and she was not his. And even if his claims he was hers were true, it was irrelevant – she didn't want him.
He was wrong. She was not weak.
disclaimer: nothing in this chapter belongs to me.
i'm a little nervous about this. i wrote it in an hour this morning when i didn't want to get out of bed & it's not like anything i've ever written before... did i completley fail at it? i've never written anything in the third person before either... i hope it came out alright. anyway, i'd love to know what you thought :)
ellie :) xx