“Oh my goodness what a beautiful private garden!” Bonnie exclaimed.
“Yes Bonita. I do recall it being rather pretty when I was sighted.”
“I shall be your eyes now your Majesty. Shall I describe it to you?”
“Yes” Prince Theodore’s grip on Bonnie’s arm tightened ever so slightly, the feeling of her sleeved arm beneath his fingertips was comforting.
Bonnie squeezed Prince Theodore’s hand sensing his fear. “I feel you are doing well. There is a pretty bench here.”
She guided him to the seat and they both sat comfortably. Bonnie thought for a moment.
“Well, the trees are bare now because it is still Winter. There is a small robin perched upon a tree branch to your left. The wee dear is fluffing out his breast and staring at us. He seems very tame and unnerved. Not afraid at all.”
Theodore sighed “Unlike me. Bonita I still feel that I know so little about you.”
“Well, ask me questions and I will tell you your majesty.”
“I can never think of what to ask others. It just proves my selfishness Bonita. Are you sure that you have never had any suitors?” Bonnie coughed nervously. This was a slightly forward question she felt, but answered him truthfully.
“Might I ask you a question sire?”
“Yes please do.”
“What do…. what are you most afraid of?”
Theodore paused. He had never been asked this before. The silence was a little longer than Bonnie had anticipated which made her nervous.
“Well in truth, originally I was afraid to leave the Palace. You’ve helped me to abolish that fear. I feel that before we met I had begun to hate myself and the wretched creature I’d become. I had begun to live my life in misery and spent my existence blaming others for my misfortune. They were only trying to help. Bonita you brought me out of that horrid, dark place. I don’t know how much longer I could have carried on in that fashion. For that I thank you.”
Bonnie was lost for words momentarily, but decided to opt for a humble answer.
“I was glad to be of assistance.”
“Ah a modest response Bonita.”
Bonnie noticed a silvery mark upon Theodore’s cheek. It was a tear, Bonnie was startled she had never seen a man cry before and was not aware that they could. His lip trembled and two large tears rolled down his fuchia pink cheeks. His breath intake became more rapid, causing a condensation cloud to form infront of him in the air. Bonnie took Theodore’s hand in hers and squeezed it, she offered him her lace handkerchief. Theodore mopped his teary eyes and returned it to her.
With no warning the air grew chillier. The sky had been darkening over the last half hour, the clouds slowly forming in charcoal swirled patterns. The heavens opened and the pair took hands. Bonnie led Theodore safely inside. They both shivered, their clothing saturated with cold rainwater.
“Your highness. I’m so sorry there was no warning.”
Theodore smiled. “Don’t fret. I had a memorable time. Thank you.”
Bonnie was concerned. What if Prince Theodore caught a cold? “Promise me that you will take a hot bath immediately I do not wish for you to get ill. You’re wet through.”
Theodore did not answer her question. “Fair well my friend. I look forward to your company tomorrow.”
Theodore offered Bonnie his pale hand, a beautiful sapphire ring glinted upon his middle finger. Bonnie took his hand gladly. He was so very cold to the touch she thought. Once more they parted.
On her arrival at the palace the next day, Bonnie thought it to be unusually quiet. Rettie stood in the huge castle hall beating one of the many rugs. A cloud of dust filled the air.
“Excuse me. Where is Prince Theodore?” Bonnie questioned.
“Ahh Miss Bonita I presume? His majesty was inquiring of your where a bouts I’m afraid he’s feeling a little under the weather today. He got a soaking in the rain yesterday. He was asking for you.”
Bonnie was overrun with guilt. “Of course. Yes I should like to see him please.”
“Follow me Miss.” Rettie led the way through the lower ground floor rooms of the castle. There was so many, like a maze. She beckoned.
“Just in here Miss.” Bonnie’s heart raced. Surely Theodore would be furious with her she thought. After all it was her fault that he was ill wasn’t it?
Rettie curtsied. “Your grace you have a visitor.” Bonnie swallowed nervously and stood before Prince Theodore.
To be continued….