I stared after him, feeling the surprise across my face spread until I was sure it was a shining sign towards the obvious girl in the flower bed who had just seen an alien be nice. NICE. To her. And a prince. Nice. To me. I looked down at the roses, that were in fact my favourite flower. So the roses were for him? He liked roses.
I gathered up my flowers and headed back in to the palace to arrange them. Having got lost, I finally found the princesses room again, and arranged a large bouquet in a vase. She stared at them.
"I don't like roses."
"I met the prince. He said to give them to you."
"He sent these to me?"
Her face lit up and she laughed.
"I love roses!"
I rolled my eyes and left the room. She clearly wanted to be alone.
As I explored the famous palace, I felt a little twist of excitement. Sure, I hated being here, and sure, I wanted to return to my brother as soon as possible, but I could not help but admire this incredible building. It was so beautiful, not even the aliens could tint it. I reached the corridor that is most famed. The corridor where mirrors line the walls. I opened the door to check that no one was inside, and when I realised it was empty I hurried in. It was a delight to behold, light sparkling off every surface. I laughed in spite of myself, feeling joy at seeing the sun so reflected, so praised. I closed the door behind me, and placed the extra roses I had collected on the floor. Then I looked around, self conscious, before spinning in a circle, arms wide. I laughed as light flew at me. As I danced through the corridor, I saw myself for the first time in a long while, reflected in the mirrors. I studied myself.
I did not believe I was pretty, although many said I had favourable features. Bright green eyes stared at me, surrounded by porcelain skin and long wavy brown hair. I turned. A slim waist, but curves at my hips and breasts, not like the stick thin princess, and I wasn't a bad height. I frowned at my freckled nose. It was what people called a button nose. They thought it was cute, but it annoyed me incredibly. I decided to ignore my features, and appreciate the beauty of the corridor once more before leaving. I picked up the roses, then returned to my pleasurable activity. As I twirled, I laughed at the few falling rose petals, and was so engrossed in my activity that I only realised someone else was there when the door shut. I stopped twirling in shock, and saw the prince in front of me, watching me intently.
"I-I..." Words failed me, and I wished to leave, but realised that the closest exit was past him. He stepped forward, his head tilted to the side slightly, analysing me. Oh god, I thought, he's going to kill me. I'm going to die. I felt my fingers tighten around the roses, felt the pain as the thorns pierced my skin, and his eyes flew to them. The roses fell to the floor and I felt the relief of the thorns leaving skin, but the pain as my hand felt a small trickle of liquid. I took my chances and looked away from the prince and down at my hand. There were several drops of blood in my fingers, and one had just dripped to the floor. When I looked back up the prince was stood only an arms length from me. I would have screamed but something in my throat choked me.
Silently he pulled from his pocket a cloth, and just as silently took my hand in his cool fingers, wrapping the cloth around my hand and tying it. Then, he bent down, picked up the flowers, selected one to keep and handed the others to me, before walking past me, the flower to his nose. I stood stock still, staring ahead of me for a long time, until I heard the other door open, and then shut. Then I gathered my courage and ran from the room, the roses still in my arms. I did not want to think about what had just happened.
But the memory of his fingers delicately on mine would not shift from my mind.