Fireworks exploded in Bella's mind, as she revelled in the gentle pressure of Pacifus' lips against her own. She forgot everything as she kissed him- the war, the Chosen, even the possible repurcussions of following her heart and doing this, wishing only to finally reveal the feelings she had hidden from him for so long.
After what must have been minutes, but what felt like a single heartbeat, Pacifus drew away. Bella opened her eyes slowly, embarrassment and nerves for what he might say now threatening to crush her perfect happiness at that moment. She concentrated on slowing her racing pulse, before meeting his steady gaze.
"Bellator..." he breathed, his soulful eyes locking hers in their clear embrace. Bella felt her heart flutter again under their scrutiny, and her cheeks reddened anew.
"I am sorry, Pacifus, if my boldness was too far. The moment caught me on impulse... I could not resist." She smiled shyly at the man in front of her, attempting to conceal the turmoil she felt inside; for his face was unreadable, she knew not if her feelings for him were returned.
With a gentle laugh, Pacifus took her hand in his. Bringing it to his lips, he placed a kiss upon it, before once again meeting her eyes with his own, which now held a joyous sparkle. "You once again forget that I can read you, Bellator." he laughed, mischief playing across his face. "I have known of your- well, feelings for me, since their development- when you were but the tender age of 15 summers, unless I am mistaken?"
Bella felt the heat burst across her features as embarrassment coursed through her body. She quickly dropped her eyes to the ground, allowing her hair to swing forward once more to veil her shame. Sensing her discomfort, Pacifus wasted no further time in revealing his own hidden feelings. Brushing her hair back carefully, he tilted her chin up for her eyes to meet his.
"Well, let me tell you, Bella, that you were not alone in your feelings. I have loved you since the day we met, always. Your unstoppable will, your effortless grace, your furious passion-- you. You will never guess the joy I felt when I realised that my love was requited- I was over the moon." With this, he smiled at Bella with pure joy in his eyes, and her heart skipped a beat as she returned the look.
"But I could not reveal these feelings to you; it was above my station to do so. You are a princess; and I am but a servant, your minder no less. It would be improper for me to court you; and it would surely send your father to the grave, and me to disgrace and exile from the palace." With this speech, he dropped her hand, and walked away from her, scrubbing at his jaw with an agitated hand.
Bella observed him from behind, taking in every precise detail; the contours of his muscular body, the sheen that the soft, dappled sunlight lent to his fair hair, and the troubled way in which he stood, doubtlessly worrying about the repurcussions of allowing her to kiss him. But Bella cared not for social class, for the reaction of her parents or those of the palace subjects- this was the man that she loved, and who had just admitted that he loved her, too; and she was not going to let etiquette get in the way.
She approched him slowly from behind, calming her breathing as she walked around in front of him and took his hands in hers. He looked down at her, love glimmering softly in his gaze.
"Pacifus, I love you," she began, staring into his hopeful face. "and I care not for social standing or class. Father wishes me to marry a prince, I know this- but he shall not force me to marry a man whom I do not love! I have always dreamt of finding love, of being content with that one person who completes me- and that person is you, Pacifus. The war is coming, we cannot stay here anyway! We must go and fight, out there- outside the confines of these walls! Out there, there is no social standing; I shall no longer be a princess, and you, no longer a servant! We shall be free to be together, to love one another- and to fight for our land, and our love, as one. We must escape, Pacifus; not only to save Terra Pax, but to save ourselves- to save our love."
Bella gazed up at Pacifus, her heart racing after her passionate speech. She waited for him to exclaim, to tell her she was crazy; to insist that they could not leave the palace, it was too dangerous, their love too childish to last out there. But he didn't. Instead, he leaned down towards her, and pressed a passionate kiss to her waiting lips.
Eventually they broke apart, and he gripped her hands in his once again. "Okay," he whispered, squeezing her hands. "Lets make our battle plan. We're going to escape."