After walking through a labyrinth of corridors, Christophe and Helena reached his sister’s room. Helena heard laughter coming from the other side of the giant door. Christophe pounded the door once with his leather-clad fist. The door swung open, revealing girls sitting in a circle around the princess. The princess was very beautiful, the rumors were all true. Her skin was alabaster, so white Helena could see the blue veins that ran through her body. Long, curly, chocolate hair fell down to the chair the princess was sitting on. She was wearing a dress the color of the night sky, complete with small diamonds all over to look like stars. One of the ladies-in-waiting said something and the princess laughed.
She turned and looked at the door. “Brother! You are here!” In a rustle of fabric, the princess jumped to her feet and ran to her brother, embracing him.
Christophe laughed. “Yes, darling Katherine. I’m back and I’ve brought you your new lady-in-waiting.”
Katherine stepped back. “You have? Where is she?”
Christophe motioned to Helena.
Katherine looked at Helena. “So you are the new lady-in-waiting.” Katherine circled Helena. “You make your own clothes. You’re handy with a needle, your dress tells me that much. You look pretty enough, but what’s your personality like? Pretty faces often lie. Are you bright as a pin? Or are you dull as a wooden stump? Are you witty? Charming? Would you have any other use to me?”
Helena looked at Christophe. He nodded encouragingly.
“Princess Katherine, my father owns a business in the upper city. I am his bookkeeper. Since my mother died and my sister-in-law works for your mother, I was lady of the house. I hosted all of my father’s dinner parties and any other gathering that was at my home.”
Katherine looked at Helena, seeming to weigh her with her golden eyes. “You will do. But do not make me regret having you here.”
Helena breathed a sigh of relief.
Christophe looked at Helena again. “Katherine, perhaps you would allow me to give your new lady a tour of the castle, that way she shall be better equipped to serve you.”
Katherine hugged Christophe again and whispered in his ear. “Fine. Just bring her back to me in one piece.”
Christophe smiled and led Helena out of the room. The giant doors closed behind them without a sound.
Helena looked at Christophe. “How did I do?”
Christophe smiled. “You did wonderful. Katherine will be pleased. And I am pleased to finally have you to myself.”
Christophe smiled and caressed her face. “You may not remember it, it’s been so long. But come, I’ll show you some things that will help you remember.”
Helena followed Christophe, slightly confused. Christophe took her down the corridor and stopped at another giant door. He pushed on it and it swung open on well-oiled hinges. Floor-to-ceiling windows were framed by black velvet curtains. Dark purple rugs covered parts of the wood floor. A tall four poster bed with dark purple blankets occupied one entire wall. Black pillows lay on the bed, pressed against the mahogany headboard.
“Sit.” Christophe motioned towards the bed.
Helena sat down, sinking into the feather mattress. Christophe walked over to an immense wardrobe. He unlocked it with a key produced from inside his shirt. The doors swung open with a low moan. Christophe pulled out picture frames and boxes. He walked back to the bed and spread them all around her.
He picked up a large wooden box and opened it, pulling out the contents. “See? This was the necklace you were wearing the first time I saw you. I said the necklace was a poor imitation of your eyes. Even after two centuries, I was right.”
Helena looked at the necklace. It was a large teardrop shaped amethyst, about the size of a large rose. The gemstone had lines of gold running over it, supporting the amethyst. The chain was so fine it was almost non-existent. Helena reached out and touched the stone with her fingertip. In her mind, she saw herself walking with Christophe along one of the walkways she had seen this morning. He said something and she laughed. Helena smiled. The world went back into focus and Helena was back, sitting on Christophe’s bed.
He smiled. “Your first flashback. May there be many more so you remember who you were.” Christophe reached out and traced her cheek. “May you remember who we were.”
Helena blushed and looked down. Christophe put the necklace back in its box.
He grabbed a picture. “This was your favorite picture, and your birthday present to me.”
Helena gasped when she saw the girl in the picture. It was an exact likeness, right down to the small scar below her bottom lip. Helena looked up at Christophe.
“Yes, it’s you. This was painted two weeks before…”
Helena looked at the picture again. “Before what?”
Christophe shook his head. “Nothing. But look at this.”
He opened a large box at his feet. The lid sprang open, revealing a red-velvet lining, caressing a beautiful green dress. The dress had a fitted bodice and darker green ribbons that started at the top of the bodice and fell down to the skirt. Helena leaned closer.
“Go ahead, Helena. It’s yours.”
Helena looked up for a second, and then reached down and touched it. She saw herself at a ball, dancing in Christophe’s arms. The Christophe in her mind was smiling at her, holding her tight. Helena looked up from the dress and saw that Christophe was watching her with the same smile on his face.
“You’re starting to remember.”
Helena nodded, shocked. “I think so. But…what is all this stuff? Why am I remembering all of this?”
Christophe grabbed her hand. “Helena, we were in love two centuries ago. But then, you died. You died and left me behind. Left all of this behind. I’ve been waiting for two hundred years for you to come back. And when you finally did, I was the one that was always around to watch you. I helped out in your father’s store. I helped your mother take care of you. I helped your sister-in-law take care of you.” He reached up and caressed her face. “Helena, you are my love reincarnated. I know you are. And you know it, too. I won’t push myself on you, but just know that I still love you. I love you with all I possibly can and more.”
Helena looked down into Christophe’s indigo eyes. The sadness, love, and hope that was in his eyes made her so badly want to believe she was.
Helena looked away. “Christophe, I’m not that Helena reincarnated. I’m not your true love that was poisoned so many years ago.”
Christophe smiled. “No one save for the royal family knew you had been poisoned. There will be other things you will remember. They will come at any time.”
Helena looked down at Christophe again. “If I really am who you think I am, then is there any way to prove it?”
Christophe stood up. “Yes. There is one way.”
He leaned down and pressed his lips against hers. Helena recognized this feeling, she knew this was how it was meant to be, her and Christophe. There was no other for her, and no other for him. They were meant to be together, forever. A thrill ran through Helena as Christophe’s fangs grazed her lip as he deepened the kiss. Christophe wrapped his arm around Helena’s waist, pulling her closer.
Christophe pulled back and looked into Helena’s purple eyes. “Helena, now do you believe me?”
She nodded, breathless.
Christophe smiled. “Come. You may remember parts of the palace, but I will show you the whole thing, to help you remember.”
Helena stood shakily.
Christophe smiled and wrapped his arm around her waist. “Whenever you remember more about us, come to me. Come to me and I’ll make everything clearer to you, Helena, my love.”