Chapter One

“Ela, stop it.  Someone might see us.”

“No one ever comes in here,” the girl replied, pulling the boy closer.  “And I don’t care who sees us.”  She giggled a twinkling laugh as Felix stopped protesting and followed her into the barn.  Daniela had been right, the barn was empty apart from mountains of sacks of grain that had been harvested a few weeks before.

The couple kissed, first tenderly then growing more passionate, their bodies locked together so they were one person.

“You know I love you, don’t you?”

“Of course I do Felix,” Ela laughed.  “And I love you too.  What’s brought this on?”

“It was your eighteenth birthday last month.”

“Yes, what of it?  It’s your twentieth birthday in two months.”

“That isn’t important.  I just wanted to ask you something.”  He stepped a little away from Daniela and put his hand into the pocket of his breeches.  “Now you’re of age I have something to say that I’ve wanted to say for a while.  You’re the only girl I’ve ever loved and I’ve loved you since I first met you.”

“I was only five when you met me!”

“Don’t interrupt me,” Felix said losing his focus.  “What I wanted to say was you’re the only girl I’ve ever loved and I never want to love anyone else.  I can’t think of spending my life with anyone else but you.”

“You’re so sweet,” Daniela said, wrapping her arms around Felix’s waist and kissing his neck.

“Can’t you listen to me for one minute!”  Felix exclaimed.  “I’m trying to ask you to marry me.”

Daniela looked up at Felix’s handsome face, shocked.

“Are you serious?”

“Why would I joke about the rest of my life?  I can’t imagine my life without you and I don’t want to have to imagine it.  So will you be my wife?”

“It would be a shame to get married so young,” she said coyly.  “I’ve hardly seen the world yet.”

“Don’t play with me Ela,” Felix pleaded.  “If you’re not ready then tell me straight.”

“You’re far too serious Felix,” the girl laughed.  “I was only teasing you.  I feel exactly the same.  I never want to be parted from you ever.”

“So you’ll marry me?”

“Of course I will you slow-witted donkey!”

The pair embraced, their lips locking as passionately as before.  Felix’s hands went around Daniela’s tiny waist, his fingers brushing her long chocolate hair as he held tightly to her.  They staggered backwards and Daniela tripped over a stray sack and they both fell to the ground.

“Are you OK?”  Felix asked, pulling away to check nothing was broken.  “I’m sorry, I didn’t know that was there.”

“I’m fine,” she insisted, putting her hand either side of his face, her fingers lacing into his stray locks of copper hair and pressing their foreheads together.  “As long as you’re with me, I will always be OK.”  She kissed him again to stop any protestations.

“I have a ring,” he said when he eventually managed to pull away.  He pulled a small ring out of his pocket and slipped it onto Daniela’s finger.

“It’s beautiful,” Ela gasped as she looked at the tiny gold band with a single small stone shining in the centre.  “Where did you find it?”

“It was my mother’s.  My father said she wanted me to give it to whomever I chose to be my wife.  She knew I would make the right choice.”

Daniela blushed and studied the floor.  “I’m sorry I never got to know her that well.  But I always remember her being kind.”

“You would have loved her,” he said.  “And she would have loved you.”

“You think?”

“Of course she would.  I chose you.”  He kissed her.  “Do you think your father will approve?”

“You mean you haven’t asked him yet?”  Ela said pulling away and sitting up properly.

“No, I wanted to ask you first so I knew you would say yes.  Why?  Do you think he won’t approve?”

“I don’t care if he approves or not.  I’m going to marry you no matter what.”

“But I don’t know if I can without your father’s consent.  It wouldn’t be right.”

“I’m sure he’ll say yes.  He’s not so bad.  And if he does say no I’ll have a word with my mother, she’ll soon make him change his mind.”

She laughed again as Felix hugged her again, squeezing her impossibly tightly.  Her laugh was so infectious Felix couldn’t help but join in and soon they were both rolling around on the floor laughing.

“We should make a pact,” Daniela said when they had managed to catch their breath.  “From now on we will never be separated.  We won’t let anything pull us apart.”

“What shall we swear it on?”

“My ring.”  Daniela pulled the ring off her finger and put it in her palm.  Felix clasped her hand with his own and held it tightly.

“I swear,” he said slowly, “that I will let nothing tear us apart and we will always be together, no matter what.”

Ela repeated the words, her eyes locked with Felix’s until the last words left her mouth and silence fell over the barn.

“I suppose I should go talk to your father,” Felix said in hushed tones.  “It’s probably better to do it sooner rather than later.”

“I’ll take you to him,” Daniela said, pulling Felix to his feet and running out of the door with him in tow.

The End

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