- Chapter 10
~ The Feral Princess and Prince Eugene
The queen and Solara found Eugene in the music room where an elderly harpist was playing carols.
"Solara, dear. Stay with Eugene. Papa and I need to finish a few things before the ceremony," said Queen Rebecca.
"Yes, Mama." Solara said, as her face bloomed into a magical smile and she rushed over to him to hug him.
Eugene stood in time to catch Solara and hold her tight, he could see the gentle smile on the queen's face before she turned and left. He liked that smile. It was so much better then her tranquil fury face. That face scared men and nations.
He remembered standing there as the queen came to stand between him and her husband as the body of the kidnapper was being taken down to be burned, her face smeared with the blood of the woman who had stolen her child. Everyone remained silent in terrified awe of the queen. He had wanted to be a lot further away than right next to her, like the far side of the planet, but he was certain that still wouldn't be far enough.
Being close to the king; he knew that crime in the kingdom had disappeared almost overnight and even relations with some quarrelsome kingdoms had calmed. There was no doubt as to why.
"So what boots did you get?" Asked Eugene to the girl he loved and had his arms around.
"Soft boots. See." Solara stuck a foot out, with a smile.
Eugene could see it was a very pretty boot. It didn't all that good a winter boot, but Solara was still figuring out the tradeoffs for things. It looked as though she chose pretty over warmth this time. Oh well, he'd made sure to ask Margaret to have a foot bath ready for the princess to warm her feet.
"They are very pretty. Did you get them because they are pretty?"
"No. I can feel floor good."
"You can feel the floor good with them?" asked Eugene. Solara nodded and he could feel her swaying to the music, so they start to dance in front of the windows. The elderly harpist smiled gently and picked up the beat so it was better for dancing.
"Why is it important that you can feel the floor?" Wondered Eugene.
"Free," smiled Solara. She spun away from him, her braid and skirt flaring. She danced with her arms outstretched, and a look of calm concentration on her upturned face. She returned to him and they came together as the song ended. They breathed hard for a few moments and she hugged him close again.
Their's was a bittersweet romance, that had completely devastated the Flynn Rider fangirls. Which was just as well, he wasn't Flynn anymore. He was Eugene, Prince Eugene even, he laughed at himself, and he loved the most special girl in the world. She loved him in that way she loved everyone, with everything she had, but he imagined that the smile she had for him was a little more special then for others.
"New learn," said Solara, brightly, as she put an arm around his waist.
"You learned something new today, huh. What?" Everything was so new to her and her joy in learning was wonderful. He tried to be a matching pupil when the king taught him things.
Eugene's entire body clenched, expecting a tickle attack, but Solara just held on like normal.
"Really? How did that go?" Eugene asked, cautiously relaxing. Her sense of humor was still developing. She loved knock, knock jokes for some reason.
"Other boots tickled me, laughed so much. Mama teach me how to do it properly, later." Solara explained casually.
"Oh boy. Sounds like fun," said Eugene, trying to sound upbeat. The tickle torture in the orphanage had been brutal.
A beam of bright sunshine blazed through a break in the clouds. Solara dragged him over to the windows, held her face up and let those softly warming rays caress her cheeks like fluffy down. Eugene just held her around her waist as he too let the sun embrace him.
Soon the clouds hid the sun again.
Solara put her head on his chest and said, "Thank."
"Whatever for?" Eugene was surprised, they hadn't done anything special, for them anyway.
"Sun. Home." Solara said simply.
A chill slammed into Eugene from the top of his head down to his feet. By the time the trial had ended he knew that finding the Lost Princess had not been exactly accidental. Fate, destiny and a horse getting a bushel of apples for Christmas morning, had spent his whole life guiding him to that tower, opening that door to a dark room and finding this little girl.
He had gone through some terrible stuff in his life, but he didn't, couldn't, resent those things anymore. Not since all those things allowed him to bring home the most wonderful person in the world. Someone who had gone through so much worse.
He pulled her close as the tears came, "You're welcome, Solara. I love you so much."
"Love more." She said smiling.
"I love you most." He smiled as they played the topping love game she had created when she had learned the progression of much, more, most. He kissed her forehead.
"Love forever." She said seriously. She knew she was safe with Mama, Papa and Eugene. Home was safe. Home was good. Eugene was best.
They turned to look out the windows again. The sky was a pale blue, the sun a bright yellow through the heavy dark clouds lowering in the distance, there would be snow again later. The snow-covered kingdom lay below them as columns of smoke rose from chimneys everywhere. It was a view he was used to.
~ The Feral Princess and The Doll
Solara was sitting between her Mama and Eugene at the plaza balcony. Her legs tucked up under her, the boots were comfortable enough to do that. Her coat was warm. Her hands stuck in a warm fur muff in front of her, which was also tied behind her neck so she wouldn't lose it. It wasn't all that late, but it was going to be dark soon.
Papa the King was talking about love and caring and things that warmed the heart.
Solara slumped onto Eugene's shoulder as the representative of the city council almost put her to sleep as he droned on and on for a few minutes.
Solara jerked fully awake, as mama touched her, since it was time for her to stand and accept the gift. She pulled a hand out of her muff and waved to the girl who smiled back, her hands were full with a package, the gift.
The girl pulled a doll out of the package, it was large, had golden silk hair that reached to its feet, big jade eyes, dressed in a lavender dress and it looked like her. Solara gasped in surprise, she thought it was absolutely wonderful.
"Pretty," she said, and after a moment turned to the crowd. "It is very pretty. Thank you everyone so much for the gift. Merry Christmas."
"You're welcome. Your Highness." The girl held the doll out. Solara took it and held it close. It was a very good size for hugging.
Several people in the audience went "Aww."
"Love," said the princess. She wanted to hug the girl, but the muff hanging around her neck in front of her, was in the way of doing it right so she tossed it over her shoulder. There were smiles throughout the audience at that, and the princess hugged the girl properly.
After a few moments of a deeply loving hug, the girl sobbed. Solara showed her love with her hugs and you could feel it in your heart that she loved you deeply, no matter who you were.
"What are you going to name your doll, your highness?" Asked the girl once she got herself under control. Solara thought for a long moment, looking at the doll. It looked so much like her, but it wasn't her and needed a different name. She had been learning so many things, a new food she had tried and liked, rang in her mind.
"Rapunzel. Her name is Rapunzel," said the Broken Princess. Some people looked at each other. Naming a doll after a radish was odd, but then their princess was broken.