Archie LagoMature

"H-hi," I stammered, frightened by the stranger's height.

"Oh, um, I'm sorry" he mumbled in the most bashful manner, pulling back. "You did rush into me with a suddenness."

"I apologise for that," I said, flushing furiously.

He kissed my knuckle, saying "You look dashing. Just as I've heard people describe you."

I flushed impossibly brighter and asked in surprise "You've heard people describe me?"

"Well, I do like to hear about the beauties of other kingdoms," he replied.  And surprisingly, he added "Not only in looks though, might I add?"

"Really?" I asked, stunned. "Hang on! Wait a second. Before you start telling me about yourself, shouldn't we become acquainted? I don't know your name."

"My name is Archie. Archie Lago. I apologize for my boldness. How about a stroll through the gardens?"

I looked at him oddly. "A stroll through the gardens? And why on earth would we do that? Look, why are you here?" I was starting to think that this person, whoever he was, was quite strange.

"Oh, I came on a spur of the moment decision. I've been offered the chance to marry your sister."

"What?" Oh, this man did puzzle me so. "How do you know I'm not Felicity? And why would you want to walk with me?"

"Your beauty is different to that described of your sister," Archie said simply. "And I must admit your sister's adventurous personality frightens me slightly so I'd rather take your hand even though I know it to be impossible."

I jumped back, startled and slightly indignant. "Sir! Please! Contain yourself!"

Archie looked deadly serious. "I'm sorry my confessions frighten you."

"You cannot wish to marry me! You hardly know me. I hardly know you." Slightly cross, I said "I would not court such a reckless person if he were the richest prince in the land."

"In fact, I know you quite well.

"You love profoundness in an unexpected manner. You have a love of poetry, art and novels. You love romantic gestures to be deep. You are affectionate, which causes you to want a relationship deep and meaningful"

I stared at him. "How can you possibly know that?!"

"I have taken a great amount of my time to know more of you, my lady."

I stepped back further. "Sir, I must confess that is extremely alarming. Just who do you think you are?"

"A prince," he chuckled. "One out to capture your heart if I can't have your hand."

I trembled inside but chided myself.

"Well, you are going about it in totally the wrong fashion." I turned my back on him. "I must say I really don't see how you'll stay here for much longer."

"How about the about six princes coming to claim your sister keeping me here?" he called. I heard him as he began to follow me. I couldn't decide whether I liked it or hated it. "But I'd rather be here for a beauty who has a heart as deep as the ocean."

"You talked of profoundness but you seem not to comprehend it," I called back.

"Then I shall try harder."

I stopped and turned. "You can't love me. If you say you love me, I don't like you."

"Not yet, Your Highness, but soon."

"Don't make promises," I snapped. "And you can't say you love me until you know me. And you will never know me truly unless we have a proper conversation. I wish you luck, sir." I turned away again.

Archie allowed me to leave. I sighed in relief. Honestly, no prince should behave like that.

***

The End

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