Leola & Acel

Chapter One

Leola didn’t even try to look happy as she was fitted for her wedding dress. Her mother was tired of her sulking so snapped “stop acting like a child! Nester is a very handsome man with amazing abilities. You should be thrilled he is your chosen mate. Nester was overjoyed when he was told he was getting you. He’s even still happy after finding out how ungrateful you are for the pairing”

“Ungrateful mother? How am I supposed to be grateful to anybody? I want Acel”

“You will shut your mouth about him this instant. He is not good enough for you. You are beautiful and hes an ugly toad”

“God you and the rest of our race that is beautiful are so fucking full of yourselves and stuck up” Leola had more to say but her mother gave her a sharp slap “you will not raise your voice to me Leola. This has been the way of our world since the dawn of our time. The beautiful get paired with the beautiful to keep our race as pretty as possible. Its why the majority of us look so good. The uglies have it made really, they get to choose amongst themselves. You have a responsibility as I had and all the generations before. I didn’t choose your father but I like him a lot now”

“But I want love”

“grow up Leola. You are marrying Nester. Acel knows his place. I doubt being with you had even crossed his mind. Besides, I see how he flirts with Megan”

“He does not”

“I’ve seen it”

“Dont be a liar you heartless bitch” Leola received another cruel slap “I am your mother”

“yeah, a crappy mother who cant even find it in herself to care atall about how unhappy this makes me. You and father dont love eachother and you dont love me because of it. I’ll quit talking but nothing you do or say will make me pretend to be happy”

“The elders will get cross with you for upsetting the order. If you keep running your mouth you might taint other minds. This is whats best for our people!”

Acel could barely stock the shelves in the shop he owned his heart was aching so bad. He had begged and begged to be paired with Leola since she wasn’t allowed to choose for herself but all that had brought was laughter and cruel jabs from the rulers of their world. He had bragged about everything he had to brag about but nothing he said convinced them he was worthy of her. It stung even more he was convinced she loved him to. It was in the way she looked at him, how she lingered in hugs. He knew she felt the same and the heartless people that governed them wouldn’t allow them to be happy. They were far too vain for that.

He was too ugly for her hand in marriage and he knew unless they escaped their world there would be heavy consequences if he married her anyway. For one their rulers wouldnt acknowledge the marriage, two it was against the law to live with the opposite sex unless you were married or related, three they might face severe physical punishment. She could be hurt and that would be worse than being without her.

“You’re making that face again Acel.” Megan said as she counted the money for him. She often came by to help at the end of the day so he could get out faster. “Is it Leola?”

He sighed. “I can’t take it anymore Megan, you know I love her more than life itself. I need her.” His heart felt like it was being squeezed. “I can’t live without her, I hate this world. We need to escape or she’ll have to marry that…that idiot.”

“And she’ll be forced to produce an heir.”

“I can’t let that happen. I have enough money to help us get by for awhile, all we need is a way out.”

Megan finished with the money and walked over to help him finish with the cans. “I’ll help you and Leola, she’s been nothing but an angel and she deserves someone like you who actually loves her.”

“Thank you.”

“We’re friends, we’re supposed to help each other.”

Leola sat in her room and stared out the window, happy that her mother and the woman who had been working on her dress had left. She stared out over their world, wishing she could see the beauty in it, but unable to. She craved freedom with Acel, wished for it with all her heart and soul and would pay any price to get it. She buried her face in her hands as tears welled up in her eyes and wept, wishing she could grow wings and fly away from this prison.

When she heard her mothers call for dinner Leola wiped the tears away and braced for the glares and tension she would receive from her fathers side of the table. Her mother may not give a damn how she felt but the way her father had been was much harder to deal with. When he told her he wouldn’t speak to her until she “accepted her fate and stopped being a brat for the good of their race” he had meant it. Truthfully what he had to say to her he had been saying without words anyway. He was only in the same room as her when they ate and even then he wouldn’t utter a word, just glare and make her as uncomfortable as he could with his rage.

Tonight when she came to the table he did somthing he didn’t normally do. Vachel lifted his plate and walked towords their living room. She thought she would be spared his angry eyes but he looked at her quickly, groaned and shook his head before walking angrily out. When she sat down Leola asked ‘where is going?”

“I told him about your little tantrum concerning that disgusting looking man who owns the shop. I have half a mind to stop talking to you too. You are such a disappointment. We’re absolutely ashamed you’re our daughter. We should have never let you hangout with his kind. Our friends warned us about you associating with the underlings. Your father will be eating in the living room until you’re living with your husband. He says being in the same room even for meals is too much to take now”

“I don’t care anymore mom. I’m glad you hate me so much, it makes the sting of betrayal not hurt so much.”

“You will watch your mouth.”

In truth she wished her parents loved her, she wished her mother was someone she could confide in and she wished her father accepted everything about her. She felt cursed having such an unloving family and there had been times she had wanted to scar herself in hopes she would be seen as ugly and then her parents would disown her, but Acel had told her that hurting herself wouldn’t help. She wanted to run from this place, but knew she would be captured before she even made it out of the castle courtyard. She ate slowly, picking at her food, feeling more and more depressed with each passing moment.

When she was done she went straight to the room she had been given to stay in. Even the guest portion of the castle was breathtaking but she barely noticed or even cared she was going to be married to a future ruler. She just wanted a life with Acel but their looks had put them both on a different path in this world and the rulers would keep them apart, especially now that she was engaged to Nester. She had been in her room almost an hour when she heard knocking on her door. “Yes?” she said in a sullen tone. “are you decent?” Nesters voice asked. “Yes” she answered truthfully, he would have waited for her to dress anyway so may aswell not prolong him entering.

He stepped in, wearing his finest clothes and bearing flowers along with a new sun dress. The man didn’t even care that dresses urked her. “I collected these from the garden for you” he said as he walked over and handed them to her. She took the flowers and he saw she had been crying again. He sighed and held up her dress “I thought this would be pretty on you. Wear it for our party tomorrow. I’m also having some jewelry finished up tonight for you.” when she didn’t take it from him he walked over to her closet and hung it up.

He walked back to her and took Leolas hands to have her stand in front of him. “Leola, the seamstress told me of yours and your mothers fight. I understand you grew up as friends with Acel and you’ve grown attached to him but you are going to be my wife and the sooner you let go of your feelings for him the sooner you can be happy. You are going to be very happy as my bride. I can give you anything and I’m going to let you in on a little secret but you cant tell anybody. Even if you do my parents, myself and the other lords will deny it.”

“what is it?” she asked barely interested. He smiled and pulled her into a hug that she tensed in, especially when he moved so his lips were by her ear “I chose you” she shoved him away “but nobody chooses”

“The rulers get to. We just dont let the public know that. Unlike the other attractive members of our race who are matched on the likelyhood of breeding more beautiful babies we get to choose whoever we want and i’ve wanted you since I met you. I told my father the first day we hung around eachother I wanted him to give you to me but thats good for you. You will have a husband who wants you, want to know who your father wanted?”

‘shut up”

‘it wasn’t your mother”

“stop talking”

“it was her sister, your Aunt Sonna. When your parents were paired he asked to get Sonna instead but the rulers turned him down. Its hilarious watching him be so hypocritical with you. He didn’t want to marry someone he didn’t want to either but you have more of a will than him. He gave up pretty easily. Anyways, nobody but us gets who they want so be happy you’ll be with a man who actually wants you”

‘Acel wants me”

“Has he said it?”

“No but he doesn’t have to say it. I can feel it” Nester chuckled “Leola, don’t be stupid. he knows his place. He hasn’t even contested your pairing”

“He knows he’d be laughed at no doubt and it would do nothing. He’d fight for me if he knew he had the chance”

“How do you know all this without words?”

“I just do” Nester tried to close the distance but Leola started to back up. “Leola, you are going to be royalty. Most women would do anything to be you.”

“Then find someone else because I don’t want you and I will never love you. It’s not like you love me, people don’t make the ones they love unhappy so just go away.”

“Don’t make this harder than it has to be.”

“You are just like all the rest, beautiful on the outside and ugly on the inside. You and my parents are rotten inside.” She shoved him away. “I will not come to you willingly Nester, I’d rather die than be some breeder.”

He gave her a polite smile and straightened his shirt. “We will be married Leola so I suggest you get used to the idea of being my wife and everything that entails.”

He turned away, heading for the door. “I won’t be wearing that dress, I’m not your doll.” He opened the door and left and she flopped back down on her bed. She felt tears welling up in her eyes again and before she knew it she was crying.

Acel watched as the guards made their rotations. He had been studying their pattern and it always remained the same. He waited for the gap between the first and second pair then ran for the wall. It was old, with many cracks in it so it made it easy to climb. He hauled himself over the side, did a quick dash across the walkway and then dropped down on the other side. He knew this was dangerous, knew if he was caught sneaking into the castle to see Leola he would be in a lot of trouble, but he had to see her and tell her he was working on a plane to help her escape. Above all else he wanted her happiness and would gladly sacrifice himself for it.

Chapter Two

Acel managed to get all the way to her door without detection. Security was far more lax than in other worlds since theirs never experienced war due to the whole thing being governed by one group of rulers. He silently pushed it open, glad it didn’t creak on him. It still caused Leola to quickly sit up and look at the door. She worried it would be Nester again but lit up when she saw it was Acel with a finger over his mouth. He shut the door and locked it behind him before running over to her “what’re you doing here?” she whispered. He smiled and cupped her cheek, letting his thumb slide over it “I’d rather say this more romantically but I cant stay here long. I love you Leola and I’ve thought for a long time that you love me too, am I right?”

Her bottom lip trembled with her heart “yes, tremendously.

“Meagan and I are working on a plan for you and I to escape this world. I have the money since my shop does well. You know if we stay here we can never be together, too many believe in our rulers horrible ways. We’ll be outed and horrible things will happen to us. I don’t know enough to tell you details now but I swear to you we’re leaving this world. We’ll be together no matter what I have to do Leola. I love you so much”

She kissed him briefly. He wished she hadn’t done that because now he wanted more but at least he had finally gotten the kiss he had wanted for so long. He would get more once he got her away from Nester and the rest of this horrible world. “You should go, you know my parents are staying here too”

“Unfortunately, but I had to see you, I had to let you know how much you mean to me and that I will set you free.” He took her hand and pressed it to his chest. “As long as this heart beats, I swear I will not give up until you are safe and happy.”

“Oh Acel, I love you.” She kissed him again, this time letting it linger for a bit. She wanted him to stay, but knew if he was caught in her room he would be severely punished. “Now go my love, I don’t want you to get hurt.” She said softly when she parted their lips.

“You stay safe and don’t give up, I will be back for you as soon as my plan has been set in motion. Pack a small bag and stash it away.”

“I will, now please go.”

He kissed her forehead and left as silently as he had come. She sat there staring at the bedroom door for a few minutes, wishing she could go with him now. She didn’t think she was going to be able to get back to sleep, so she decided to go ahead and pack her bag. She moved silently around her room, making sure to pack light. She grabbed a couple of pieces of her most expensive jewelry and put them in the bag too. Acel had said he had enough money for them, but she thought they should have a little extra just in case. She took the back and stuffed it under her bead then climbed back under the covers and stared at the moon.

As she had expected she was stuck awake all night thinking of Acel and dreading the day to come with Nester, luckily she didn’t have to see him until lunch. She skipped breakfast since she didn’t want her parents to see the hope in her that Acel had instilled the previous night. She wouldn’t be drained and furious at everything about this world until she was forced to spend more time with her husband to be. Her heart sank a little and she hoped Acel would be able to get her away before her wedding day.

Even if it was temporary she didn’t want to marry that self centered moron. It irked her the rulers were actually choosing who they got to be with while everyone else had to marry the person determined they’d have the highest chance of beautiful children with. The worst part is she knew even if she did try to tell the rulers would deny it and the people would be stupid enough to believe their rulers over her. Not when all the ugly hearted people liked being superior and walking all over the people not born with physical beauty.

Acel jumped up from his kitchen table when someone knocked on his door. He had been unable to sleep the previous night after seeing Leola and was still wired. He ripped the door open, surprising Megan. “Sorry, please come in.” He moved aside and she hurried into his house. He closed the door and they both sat down at the kitchen table. “Would you like something to eat or drink?”

“No, I’m fine. So, how is she?”

“She hates being there, but she’s ready to go when we are.”

“Good, I bring news.”

“Good news?”

Megan smiled. “Yes, very good. I have found you a way out. It won’t be easy, but it’ll be hard to track you. There is a water dragon who lives in the forest who does favors for people for pretty things. He told me that if you bring him a gift he will gladly guide you through the tunnels beneath the river. He says there are many winding branches so it would be very hard for someone to catch up to you once you have disappeared below. He said he has to prepare supplies and can be ready the day before Leola’s wedding.”

He jumped up excited, rounded the table and hugged her. “Oh thank you so much, you are truly the greatest friend a person could ask for.” He pulled back to look at her. “Please tell him we will be there and that he must be ready to go the moment we arrive.”

“I will, I’m going to miss you two immeasurably but I’ll be happy knowing you guys are finally happy.” Acel frowned “You could run with us” Megan wore a small smile “I’d miss my family far too much. The system here sucks but unlike you I havent fallen in love with an attractive man and none have fallen for me so the system doesn’t effect me. I’ve always hated it for you two that you’ve never known a loving family like I have. It’s been nice to think about you two running and making your own family so you can finally experience how much joy a good family can bring. Promise me you two will protect your life together and never come back to see me. I’d never want you two to risk being torn apart, you have too much love between you”

Acel hugged her again “we can understand that. We’ll never forget our years of friendship with you or your help in giving us a life together Megan. My store is yours if you want it”

“really?”

“yep, you help me all the time with it anyways”

“thank you”

“Please, it’s the least I can do and if you ever meet a handsome man who loves you in return feel free to come find Leola and I”

“You know i would. I’ll get going though and talk to the dragon so he knows to be waiting on you. Tell Leola I love her and that she’ll be missed if I dont get to talk to her before you run”

“I swear I will”

Leola sat in the corner of the room, not wishing to talk to any of the people who had gathered there. She didn’t care for any of them, wasn’t enjoying this stupid party. Her mother had forced her to wear Nester’s dress and jewelry and she hated it. “Leola, get up and mingle with our guests.” It was her mother, obviously tired of her sulking.

“I don’t want to.”

“Get up before I make you.”

She sighed, pushing to her feet and walking through the group. She forced herself to stop and chat with some of these people, faking a smile to please her mother. “You look beautiful.” A voice said in her ear and she shuddered as she spun around.

“Please keep your distance.” She said just loud enough he would hear.

He grabbed her hand. “Come now Leola, this will be a lot better if you don’t fight. I’m going to take care of you and give you all your heart desires.”

She snatched her hand away. “I desire to be away from this place.”

“I can’t do that.”

“Then you are a liar.”

“Leola.” It was her father. He had her arm in his grip and was pulling her away from the party before she could say another word.

“What do you want father, I thought we weren’t on speaking terms.”

“You will stop this nonsense, you will marry Nester, and you will learn to love him.”

“You mean the way you learned to love mom?” He raised his hand hit her and she screamed, “You loved Aunt Sonna.”

He froze. “Who told you?”

“Does it matter?” She swallowed the lump in her throat. “You are nothing but a hypocrite and a coward. I…I hate you.” She turned away and headed back to the party, knowing she couldn’t just walk out.

After her father got over the shock he seemed to revert right back into a glaring, silent asshole. He obviously didn’t care he was being a hypocrite or that he was a coward and gave up on who he loved when he was told he couldn’t have her.Even though she was leaving she wished he’d even be the father he was before they were told she was to marry Nester. Her parents had never merited parents of the year but it was better than how they were right now. She’d get a hug every now and then or maybe they’d actually spend some time with her as long as her grades were good and she wasn’t disappointing them in any other way but now she stayed in a constant state of making them angry and this time she couldn’t change for them, she loved Acel and no amount of glaring, yelling or hitting was going to make her give up on the man she loved, she would die before casting aside her love for him.

She could tell some of the guests thought horribly of her aswell but she didn’t care, she just wanted this party to be over and hoped after Nester would just leave her alone. Until they were married he had been giving her space in the wing they had given her family but she didn’t know how much longer her luck with that was going to last.

She felt disgusted when Nester put his arm around her waist. He whispered “behave and allow me to do this or I promise you’ll regret it later” She wasn’t sure what that meant but as long as his hands didn’t travel and he didn’t try to kiss her she could tolerate his repulsive touch to avoid whatever that meant since it could mean him punishing Acel instead of her.

Chapter Three

Nester kept her by his side for the rest of the party, introduced her several people she didn’t know and didn’t care to know. It was excruciating, a disgusting display of his control. She would have found joy in the last guest leaving, but Nester insisted on walking her to her room. Her heart gave a leap of fear as he pulled her along. “Nester, I can walk by myself, besides my mother and father are going the same way so I don’t need an escort.”

“It’s not a problem Leola, I want to walk you.”

She swallowed down her worry, happy when they finally made it to her room. “Uh, thanks then.” He backed her up against her door and she planted her hands firmly against his chest. “Don’t.”

“Tomorrow is our rehearsal day Leola and I expect you to be on your best behavior. I want you to dress in something beautiful, the green dress is one of my favorites.”

“I told you I’m not a doll and I don’t love you. No matter what I will not give in to your demands. I only wore this monstrosity because my mother threw a fit and it was the only way to get her to stop yelling.”

“I’ve been patient my sweet, but if you keep pushing me I will punish you.” He stroked her cheek. “Do as you’re told and we’ll get along just fine.”

She glared at him as she jerked her face away. “Fine.” She found the door knob and pushed the door open, stepping back away from him. “Goodnight.” She shut the door and pressed her back against it, relieved when he didn’t try to come in.

Acel checked the time. He had to go and see her tonight, to let her know that it was nearly time and they would finally be free. He worried for her every second he was away from her, worried that Nester might hurt her since she was so strong willed. He grabbed his cloak and threw it around his shoulders then pulled the hood up. He ran into Megan when he opened his door, both of them looking surprised. “What is it?” He said under his breath.

“I just came to give you directions to the dragon’s lair.” She held out a piece of paper. “Are you off to see her?”

“Yes, to let her know to be ready.”

“Be safe Acel.”

“I will.”

Megan watched him run away nervously. “Don’t let him be caught” she said to the air. When he arrived at the castle he was just as stealthy and patient to get to her as last time. He needed to know she was alright but not at the cost of him getting caught and everything being ruined. His heart beat just a little easier when he arrived at her door and pushed it open. This time she didn’t wake so he quietly walked over and covered her mouth before whispering “Leola” She jumped but she didn’t scream like he expected he might. He took his hand from her mouth “sorry my love, I couldn’t risk you screaming”

Leola hugged him tightly “I understand Acel. I’m so glad you’re here again” he kissed her head then whispered “I just needed you to know tomorrow I’ll be getting you out of here but you need to be ready for me the second I come for you. A dragon is going to help us. I only have to give him somthing pretty”

“I’ve already packed. I could go even tonight”

“The dragon isnt ready for us or I’d take you right now. How was today? Has he done anything to you?” His face filled with concern as he asked “Not really but as much as I hate it you need to leave before you’re caught. We’re close to never being apart again or I wouldn’t rush you out” He smiled and softly kissed her “I love you and I’ll be back for you the second I can”

“I love you too Acel, deeply”

“Megan says she loves you and she’s going to miss you”

“I’m going to miss her too, tell her for me?”

“Of course”

She brought their lips together again and he almost didn’t have the strength to pull away. He wanted to feel the weight of her body next to his, to hear her soft breathing as she slept. He parted their lips and pressed his forehead against hers for just a moment before pulling away and leaving her room. He had to be patient, they were so close he wouldn’t ruin that by being selfish. His heart was beating harder than it ever had as he slipped out of the castle. He was so distracted by her that he almost didn’t notice the guards taking a break next to the wall and wound up having to walk further down. He knew tomorrow they would have to be quick, that Nester would be wanting to be with his bride to be, that her parents would be paying closer attention. She was defiant, the would be expecting her to do something.

“I don’t pray much, but please give us the speed and stamina and darkness we need to make our escape. I know they will more than likely be hot on out heels, but please let us get to the dragon and his tunnels.”

Leola stood staring out her window, watching the castle wall. She thought for a moment that she saw a dark shadow move swiftly along the wall and then make its way over. She breathed a sigh of relief, knowing he was safe. She went back to bed, pulling the blanket over her head and allowing herself to fall asleep to thoughts of her beloved.

Acel actually had energy in him as he opened his shop for the day. Tonight she would finally be his and it didn’t matter what the rulers of this world had to say about it. When Megan walked through the door he told her what Leola had said, causing her to smile. “so is there anything I should know about the store?”

“No, you’ve helped with everything at one point or another. What’re you doing here today?” She walked over and whispered “well you’re running tonight and I wanted a full day of practice here with you before the store is mine”

“Oh okay, there are still some things in the back that need to be stocked if you’d do that. Ask me if you can’t find somthing” she smiled and went into the back. Leola dressed as she cursed Nester under her breath. He had summoned her to his part of the castle to have breakfast with him and when she said no the guards who had come to get her informed her it wasn’t a request. She knew her magic and fighting skills were good but she knew any who were hired as guards were only the top. One of her friends had tried to take the two day long test to be a guard had failed miserably in the first hours of the test. So, fighting them wasn’t an option but she wouldn’t make herself pleasant to be around.

“Good morning my beautiful bride to be.” Nester said as he got to his feet when she entered the room. He took her hand and brought it to his lips. She frowned, but forced herself not to pull away. “Come now, smile for me.”

“I’d rather just eat.”

He shrugged. “Very well.” He sat down at the small table and she sat across from him. This was far to intimate for her liking. “You know if you keep making that face, it’ll get stuck that way.”

“Hopefully that will make me less attractive for you then.”

“I am sure what’s beneath that dress would more than make up for it.”

Her heart skipped a beat, but she glared at him in hopes he wouldn’t see her fear. She picked up her fork and took a bite of her food. She would stab him if he tried anything, she wasn’t afraid of the consequences. “So you had your dogs come for me for something other than breakfast I presume?”

“Ah yes.” He smiled. “I would like you to stay in my room tonight, we’ll be married tomorrow so I thought why not let you get used to sleeping with me.”

“No thanks.”

“Don’t make me force you.”

“Try it and I’ll kill anyone who touches me. I’m not your wife, I’m not your doll, and I am not your plaything. You’ve already forced me here, you threatened me last night, I’ve had enough. I will be sleeping in my room. If you try to sneak in I will assume you are a rapist and I will cause great damage to thing you value most. Besides, I would rather spend my last night of freedom alone before I am forced to marry you.” She took another bite of food. “Now I suggest you eat up dearest, we have a long and grueling day ahead of us.”

He groaned “you are beyond annoying but fine, tonight you may stay alone since we aren’t married yet but when we are you will be sharing a bedroom with me and if you keep this up I’ll bring it up with the other rulers. Our world has worked this way forever and you’re the first person to raise such a fucking fuss.”

“I cant help the attractive elves of our world are full of themselves or the people you dont deem attractive dont want to revolt against you. The way things are run are fucked up, especially since you rulers get to choose while everyone else goes with who the computer system says they should be with. Somthing crossed my mind while i was changing, I’ve been of marrying age for quite a few years now. If you chose me when I was sixteen why did you wait until now to claim me?”

“If we rulers took who we wanted the second they come of age the people would catch on you simple minded woman. The computer system somtimes takes ten or more years to match a person with their perfect breeding partner. If we all got someone on their coming of age celebration I think the people would start putting two and two together.”

“don’t call me stupid”

“I just dont see how you didn’t think of that”

“well I’ve kind of had being stuck here with a man I dont want taking up most of my brain” He sighed, obviously reaching his limit of patience with her “Just tell me somthing Leola. How on earth could you be attracted to Acel? I mean theres okay uglies and then theres him. Those ears for one but then he just looks horrible in general because his line has been among the uglies for so long”

“Because he’s kind and sweet and has a big heart. He’s the most beautiful person in any world.”

He rolled his eyes. “He’s nothing but a pathetic little loser whose ass I could easily whip and you are a fool for thinking anything of such a weakling.” He waved a dismissive hand. “You need to forget about him.”

“That will never happen.”

He glared at her, but she ignored him and finished her breakfast. Afterwards they went downstairs together since they were expected to give their final okay on the decorations and the food they wanted. Leola smiled at the cook and decorators, knowing she couldn’t blame them for her unhappiness. They were very good at their jobs and she gave them genuine thanks for their hard work. She hated it was going to go to waste and only wished she was marrying Acel now. “It’s pretty sad you won’t smile for me like that.” Nester said in an irritated tone.

“I hate you, I don’t hate them.” She retorted. “I’m going to go and read until the rehearsal. Have someone come for me around noon.”

Chapter Four

“fine, I remind you again you wont get away with acting like this once we’re married”

“I heard you the first time” she said as she walked away. He growled, hating how her behavior would look publicly if she didn’t stop. Leola was summoned again far too soon for her liking but went without causing the servant trouble. Leola forced herself through everything except for the kiss after their vows. “I want our first kiss to be on our wedding day” they had an audience so she knew he had to accept that or look bad and if she knew anything about him she knew he cared about publicity.

His forced smile looked almost painful “okay, I can wait” Her smirk was almost taunting and she hadn’t even intended it to be. It was her facial muscles natural reaction. If her mother or father could reach her she knew she would have gotten a painful slap for that. As punishment he made her stay at his side and spend time with him until evening where he also walked her to her bedroom. “this is the last night you annoying little brat. Tomorrow night you’ll be in my bedroom even if I have to chain you to the bed”

She was tempted to spit in his face but Acel was coming soon. She could contain herself for him. “I’ll see you tomorrow then you bastard” he smiled triumphantly “good, much better” It took every ounce of willpower to force herself in her room without hurting him or cussing him out. Even inside she had to keep picture Acel to keep herself from chasing that brat down.

A knock sounded at her door “leave me alone!” she yelled, thinking it was Nester. Her father flung open the door, jerked her from the bed and punched her. “Your mother and I are going back home after the wedding and we never want to see you again you ungrateful little brat. Hopefully in a few hundred years people will forget you are mine and Manette’s. The way you acted today was ridiculous and I pity him for being paired with you. Yeah i didn’t want your mother but I sucked it up like a man and now we like eachother and thats fine. its whats best for the race. You are just to selfish to think about the good of our people. I’m seriously done with you, don’t you ever try to talk to us once we leave this castle”

Without giving her a chance to speak he stormed out. She just held her face, he hadn’t been angry enough to punch her since she was a teenager. It made it easier to leave though. it sucked her parents were so horrible but at least they were making leaving this world easier.

Acel was impatient to get to Leola and ran as quickly as he could down the streets of the city, his bag slung over his shoulder. He came to a stop when he was close enough to the castle walls and waited for the guards to make their rounds. He took off at a sprint and quickly climbed up the side and over. He sneaked quietly inside, keeping his eyes and ears open. When he made it to Leola’s room he quickly, but quietly pushed the door opened and then closed it. When he turned around she was jumping into his arms. “I’m so happy to see you.” She said softly.

“Get your bag baby, we have to go.”

Leola ran over and pulled her bag out from under her bed. He took her hand then opened the door and peeked into the hall. When he didn’t see anyone he pulled her out and held his finger up to his lips to tell her to be as quiet as possible. They made to the end of the hall and to the steps when they heard a voice yell her name from behind them. Both of their heads snapped around and they saw her mother standing in the middle of the hall. They ran, ignoring her screeching which roused Leola’s father. She gripped tighter to Acel’s hand as he pulled her to the wall. “Get on my back.” She climbed on without hesitation and he climbed up, surprising the guards. They were over the other side before they were grabbed and running away from the castle.

Acel was faster than Leola and hated practically dragging her but he knew she understood and wanted to be free with him just as badly as he wanted to be free with her. He would make up for this later, even if she wasn’t upset that he didn’t slow fully to her speed. Acel was glad he had prepared himself and studied the way he needed to go all day. Megan wanted to learn anyway so he took advantage of her wanting to do things so he could study and not have to look at a map while they were being chased. It was a long way but their adrenaline kept them running until they reached the dragon.

Acel took out a small bag the second they had his attention. “these are the most beautiful things I have. I wasn’t sure what you would want but please take the whole thing if it means we can go now” Its voice sounded in their head “I understand your situation. We’ll discuss this once I have you safely away from your pursuers. As friends of Megans I trust you brought somthing for me. Get on my back so I may get you to the tunnels”

They quickly obeyed and he took them to the nearby river before diving down. When they could breath once again they were panting since they had gone from running to temporarily holding their breath. They jumped off and Acel handed him the bag again ‘take it all”

“I required one thing. Open it for me and I’ll tell you what I wish for” Acel did and was happy when he chose quickly and left him the bag, this would mean more money for him and Leola to start in another world.”thank you” Leola said, still a little breathless “run, they have good trackers among them. I don’t want Megan saddened by your capture.” They nodded and Acel took her hand again, now going a little slower but still running hastily. When they felt they could take a small rest Acel hugged Leola before they sat down and took eachothers hands “I’m sorry I drug you the way I did Leola” she kissed his cheek “don’t be silly you ridiculously sweet man. We needed to be fast, you just kept me at my absolute fastest. How could that upset me?”

“I just felt bad”

“well dont and just relax with me so we can get going” He put his arms around her and pulled Leola close “they will never take you from me now, never”

“we’ll kill anybody who tries.” He smiled, just cuddling with her until they felt ready to go again. Eventually they came to an opening just as he had been told he would and a little beyond that was a portal “whats that?’

“I believe it’s the portal to our new home”

‘are you sure” he brought her hand to his lips “I’m sure, you ready?” their hands now at their side. “I’m ready” they ran for the portal and soon found themselves under a whole new sky and in a landscape that was tottaly different from their own world. Leola gasped “where are we?”

‘that i wasn’t told but we can figure it out together..we have forever now” his voice became happier with each word. Leola hugged him “No matter where we are it’s amazing because i can be with you” His heart trembled as happy tears threatened to come out. He felt so blessed there wasn’t words he could say to her to express it. When she broke the hug he pressed their lips together again before he said “I’m going to make you happy Leola, happier than you’ve ever been”

“I already am, lets lay down under these beautiful stars and sleep. We both need it.”

‘outside?”

“we have no idea how close to a town we are unless Megan gave you information on that too”

“sadly no, she knows nothing of this place”

“then cuddle with me, I’ve wanted it for so long and theres no way those men are going to go the precise way we did since we had a map and a headstart” They laid down and tangled in eachother. “Leola” his voice broke as he said her name “whats wrong?”

“Nothing, I just cant believe I’m really holding you and that it’s okay and allowed here. I’m…I’m so ugly and you’re so beautiful”

“Acel, don’t talk like that. Don’t ever let those heartless people make you feel like you dont deserve to be with me because you are the most amazing man in the world with the biggest heart. You are a million times more beautiful than any of those assholes could ever be and I feel lucky you love me like I love you. Don’t you dare ever say you’re ugly Acel” he held her tighter. “sorry sweetheart” he whispered. “Just get some sleep now so we can get going. I’m going to set my mental clock to get up in a few hours” he smiled “thank goodness you have that skill since we have no alarms”

“yep, I’ll get myself up then wake you with a kiss” Tingles moved through his veins “I can’t wait” he whispered happily then slowly allowed himself to sleep. This was finally happening and as his mind shut down all he could think about was the amazing future that was in front of him as long as Leola remained his.

~ The End ~

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