Here's the first chapter, guys. Hope you like it! Review, please, if you want me to carry on. By the way, this will be a Char-and -Ella story. I am not masochistic or sadist. Oh, and sadly I don't own Ella Enchanted; it belongs completely to the genius that is Gail Carson Levine.
'Ella!' Hattie shrieked.
Char gasped, 'Ella?'
I broke away from him and ran into the night. I had endangered Kyrria, and Char, again! How did this happen? I ran faster, sprinting down the palace path to the gates, kicking off my slippers. Through the haze of panic, I could hear Hattie and Char – it sounded like Hattie had tried to hold him, and Char had broken free. My ball gown was burdening me. As I was running I tore at it, and it fell off me, leaving only a simple white cotton dress underneath. I had no time to mourn the loss of the beautiful garment. I had problems of my own.
Unburdened by my dress, I made it out of the gates, but could hear rapid footsteps behind me.
Char was chasing me! He was much more athletic than I was, and he would probably catch me in a moment. I changed direction, running for the woods. I knew my way round them, and it was the perfect way to lose him. A small part of my brain screamed at me, I didn't want to lose him!
I put it to one side, and ran for the trees, but I could hear him coming closer, calling my name. He was less than ten feet away. I made it inside the cover of the pines, knowing I wouldn't make it. I could feel his breath on the back of my neck, and ran, if possible, faster.
A hand grabbed my wrist, jerking me to a stop so fiercely that I would have fallen to the ground if Char hadn't caught me and held me against him. I looked away, striving pointlessly to break free. We were like that for seconds, or minutes, or hours until I gradually stopped struggling and went limp in his arms. I was vividly aware, even in a moment like this, of his arms around me.
'Ella?' he whispered. I said nothing. 'Ella, talk to me.' An order. It was pointless fighting.
'Hello, Char.' I murmured, my face still turned away. His hand released my wrist, and turned my face to look at him. I stared into his face – how could I give him up again? He didn't speak for a few minutes. Maybe he had nothing to say. Then,
'Why were you at the ball?' Ah, questions, questions. I knew we couldn't get married. It was impossible . . . because of me. I racked my brains for a suitable excuse. I settled on the simplest one.
'I wanted to see you.'
'We're friends. Aren't we?' I asked. Were we still friends? His expression was unreadable.
'Did my letter reach you?' He asked abruptly, his face suddenly hard, quite unlike him.
'My, ah, latest letter, did it get to you?' It looked as though he was blushing, and my heart went out to him.
'Erm, the latest one?' I asked, though it hurt.
'You ... you didn't get it?' His eyes widened, and dropped his arms seemingly unconsciously. No! Why did he do that? This was getting harder.
'I didn't get anything unusual,' I lied through my teeth.
'Oh . . .' He trailed off, lost for words. I realized that, if I was going to pull this off, I was going to have to act more like me.
'Why? What did you send? Was it something important?' I asked, my words sounding desperate, even to myself. He just looked at me, unable to frame a comprehensible sentence. Eventually he pulled himself together and studied his boots.
That was when I took my chance. I ran, hurtling myself into the forest so quickly that I could hide before Char caught up with me. I was concealed in a hollowed out log, my head and feet tucked in as far as they could go, but I could still see out of a hole in the rotting wood. Char ran forwards, spinning around in circles, his hand pulling at his hair.
'Ella!' he cried, his voice echoing through the forest. 'Ella!'
Eventually he left, and I waited longer still before I cautiously wriggled out of my log and ran. I reached the house, but stopped, just undercover of the trees that bordered them. I could see them. Char and three of his knights were at the house. How was I supposed to pack now; I needed to pack. I couldn't stay here. I'd thought about it, while in the log. I would try to find Areida, and hopefully she would help me get along until I could find work. Aside from that, I could always find work elsewhere. I needed to be away from here, however. Char would search for me; I knew him well enough for that, and I couldn't let him find me. Kyrria was so much better off without me, I though grimly. Maybe if I waited, they would leave? I sat down on the grass. It was going to be a long night.
They left a few hours later, but I knew that some would stay. I didn't see Char leave; only two knights left; Aubrey and Bertram. Stephan and Char were still at the house.
When it was about five in the morning, I knew it was about time to make my move. I snuck in through the back door, and let myself in to the servant's quarters. When I arrived at my room, I stopped dead. Char was right outside the room! Asleep, however. I knew I wouldn't be able to get in to my room without waking him up, as he was leaning against the door. But I did know something that they didn't.
My room was connected to Nancy's, which was next door, by a cupboard in the corner of her room. I had discovered this when Mum Olga had insisted, to Hattie's delight, that I clean and tidy all the servants' rooms. I had opened the cupboard to stash some of Nancy's (considerable) mess, and in doing so, had accidentally knocked out one of the wide, rotting boards at the back. I had propped it up again, but it would be simple to enter in that way – the hole was big enough to fit me, just about.
I quietly let myself into Nancy's room, taking care not to wake her, but the care probably wasn't needed as she was snoring so loudly that it would have taken an ogre to wake her. I crept towards the cupboard and opened it, wincing at every creak it made. Sneaking into it, I removed the board and crawled into my room. I grabbed my leather satchel and crammed my clean clothes, fairy-made book, ink, paper a pen into it.
I also packed my boot, removing my slippers; I didn't notice until I took them off that they had rubbed my skin raw while I was running. I slipped out of Nancy's room and crept over Char, hesitating. Then, after a moment of deliberation, I placed the slippers next to him and left.
I'd know when Char woke up. I was just out of the gardens, when I did. A yell sounded out from the house. I brushed a few tears out of my eyes, and ran.
Good? Any requests? Review and let me know. Thanks to Lizzy, too, for inspiring me to get off my backside and write something. For the Twilight maniacs out there, read her fan fiction, 'Warped Twilight'. It's seriously good, trust me.