Tamina's Joy

As a little girl, Tamina loved to dance, she was graceful, athletic and flexible. She would often be caught in the middle of the night, dancing to an unheard melody when she was too energized to sleep.

As she grew older, even with her weighty responsibilities, her dancing was one of her few respites. Her handmaidens would often clap out a rhythm when their Princess seemed too stressed and would refuse all else. They would dance with her and help her to relax and unwind since she felt the god's good spirit flow through her when she danced, it gave her joy beyond measure. Some of them, going off to learn new dance techniques and then teach them to each other. In Alamut dancing was always praised and regarded with much respect to those who could do it with honor and skill.

And then Persia attacked and with it came a whole new set of standards, traditions and views on the world. And sadly, it's view on dancing, Tamina's handmaidens had informed her of the Persian girls that followed the Persian Armies and the lurid and overly sexualized way they danced. Tamina felt sick that her favorite past time would be reduced to such a thing in her soon to be husbands eyes. She would never dance again if such a thing took place, her kingdom may have just been overtaken, her freedom and way of life forever changed, but she knew she would have respect that with time, everything can change.

However in the negotiations she was given, by the King, at Prince Dastan's request, to give her time to adjust and get to know her groom at her own pace, since the disgraceful act of attacking her holy city it seemed only fair. Tamina was surprised and grateful for it. Her daily walks with him in the gardens revealed that he was unlike any other man she had ever met. He was always so careful with her, making sure not to walk too closely to her, respecting her space and listening to her when she talked, even playfully bantering with her. Gently teasing her from time to time but quickly apologizing when he seemed to strike a nerve and making mental notes to not do it again. She could tell he was trying very hard to win her favor.

Her handmaidens even informed her that he had come to each of them, asking them what she liked and what she wanted and what he could do to please her, whether it be making sure her favorite foods be brought to her, or if she liked certain kinds of jewelry and perfumes or scented oils, anything. Tamina was pleasantly surprised to hear all of this.

"It's clear he cares a great deal for you Princess, he is going through so much trouble to train our troops, rebuild our walls, repair all the damage done to the city by his armies. But he is never satisfied until you are happy." Almira admitted.

"He acts like a man in love, he would find a way to give you the moon and stars if you asked." Mia added.

"Princess, I have a suggestion," Irina spoke up, Tamina's oldest handmaiden, in fact she had served her mother and had overseen the choosing of Tamina's current handmaidens. "Your Prince Dastan is different from the other Princes, different from even all the other Persians. Instead of telling him what makes you happy, show him, dance for him." She said bluntly.

Tamina's eyes grew wide at the thought. "But Persians..." Tamina tried to argue as her words died on her tongue when Irina raised her hand respectfully to silence her.

"After the wedding, all of the Persians except for Prince Dastan will leave, before they do, we should show them the art of our dancing. Not the lurid jiggling those Persian girls do. It has been an old custom that the bride dance in a party and for the groom to try to find her among the dancers. If he does pick you out of the others then you can do a sword dance, using his sword, honoring him as a warrior. You will need to practice. It will impress him and the smile you carry when you dance, because it gives you joy and happiness will surely give your Prince his satisfaction to see you happy, since it is that that he so eagerly seeks.

"How do I get his sword from him? He carries it with him all the time." Tamina countered.

"On your walks with him the gardens, ask to see it, ask to handle it, ask him to show you the proper way of wielding it out of curiosity and he will indulge you. Then you will find it's balance point, how to wield it gracefully. He will show you, I promise you that." Irina encouraged.

"Oh this will be exciting, we can get your dress makers to make us dance costumes since we dance with you and like you, we can make it challenging for him." Almira added mischievously.

Tamina gave it some thought and then gave her handmaidens a firm nod, a small smirk on her lips. They clapped excitedly and immediately began to make preparations.

The next day Tamina steeled her nerve and asked Dastan to see his sword, just like Irina had coached and practiced with her to.

"You're not going to stab me with it are you?" Dastan asked warily, eying his Princess curiously. From the Past that the Sands of Time changed and rewrote, he knew Tamina was capable of wielding such a weapon, granted not well as he could but still for a Princess who seemed to pray in a temple all the time, it was still impressive.

"No, it's just that you seem to favor it, it is special to you, I'm curious as to why? Were there other swords you used before you found this one? Was it made for you or did you take it from a fallen foe?" Tamina asked, careful to not be judgmental in her tone but show genuine interest. It must have worked since only a moment later he presented it to her and then proceeded to answer all of her questions about it. She held it and tested it's weight and balance, trying to find the balance point.

"Could you show me how to swing it properly?" She asked, her genuine curiosity clearly gleaming from her eyes. Dastan could not help himself, his heart soared as he seemed to find one of her true interests. Although he had sworn to himself to protect her, sharpening her swordsmanship wouldn't do her any harm.

After practicing for a few hours they were called to change for dinner. Dastan took his sword back but kissed the palm of her hand, spreading butterflies in her belly and heat to shoot through her veins, Tamina couldn't fight the blush that came to her cheeks and had to walk away briskly to avoid Dastan seeing her so affected by his tender affections. If she had looked back she would have seen Dastan silently rejoicing and practically doing a victory dance in finally breaking through the tough and reserved facade Tamina always put up.

The next morning Tamina was greeted at her chamber door with half a dozen of the most finely crafted, spectacularly engraved and embellished swords and daggers with a personal note written by Dastan himself. Tamina couldn't help the bright smile as she looked them over and handled them with care before ordering them to be displayed around the room.

Dastan watched from a rooftop that overlooked Tamina's chambers and balcony with anticipation as he watched her reactions and congratulated himself when he could clearly see she liked them, that bright smile seemed to light a fire within him that he was sure would burn for a thousand lifetimes. His new objective was to see her smile at him like that.

At breakfast he received a demure but genuine smile from her as well as a nod and a note slipped into his boot, written by Tamina herself, thanking him for his generous and much appreciated gift. Since he gave her his gift in a rather private setting, she assumed a thanks should be delivered in similar fashion.

"So which was your favorite?" Dastan asked on their daily walk in the garden.

"They were all so spectacular and amazing it's hard to choose a favorite at the moment, however," Tamina paused and thought over her next words carefully. "I believe I still prefer yours the best," She concluded.

"Why?" Dastan asked, stunned at her answer.

"Because yours has always protected you, kept you safe and brought you to me, I am blessed." Tamina admitted as her feelings for him seemed to cement and become clear and strong. Dastan moved closer, wanting, no, needing to kiss her, his heart ached for her and that was the closest declaration of feeling for him that she had spoken in this time. Tamina was both thrilled and a little nervous as Dastan moved closer to her, closer than he had ever dared to come before with a look of lust and love in eyes that boarded on hypnotizing. Her breaths came out deeper and faster as adrenaline and anticipation overcame her. But just as he leaned in, Irina called for her, reminding Tamina of her 'prayers' at the temple. Both of them seemed disappointed at the interruption. Dastan took her hand and bowed kissing her fingers before turning her hand over and kissing the palm of her hand again, this time, not breaking eye contact with her, his smoldering gaze melting her to the core. But quicker than he could react, when he stood straight, still holding her hand, she quickly bent down to kiss his palm before quickly righting herself and winking at him before hastily making her retreat to meet Irina for what really was dance practice. She had to wave her hand at her face since it was so heated suddenly.

Dastan looked down at his hand in astonishment. There was not only a declaration but a real action that proved she at least liked him, enough to flirt with him. His mind was a flurry with feelings and other things he could do to please her. His heart was racing, faster than it ever did even when he was in the heat of battle. But this was all together different and new and he couldn't get enough.

Suddenly Biz came out, and had the smile of a man who had discovered the greatest secret. Dastan for a moment feared Biz had actually discovered the sacred Sands of Time. But no, his fears were relieved but his curiosity was most peaked when Biz told him of the kind of 'prayers' Tamina was praying. Dastan was confused but didn't hesitate to follow his friend, having to climb a few rooftops to get to the temple's sanctuary's sacred garden. There were musicians playing, and Tamina along with her handmaidens were rehearsing some sort of elaborate and choreographed dance. Tamina was wearing a dancer's costume, exactly the same as her handmaidens, Irina was counting out a beat and rhythm and made sure they all were moving at the right time in the song. Dastan could clearly see Tamina was a gifted dancer, she moved with grace, fluidity and agility. That explained the way she moved quite a bit actually.

"It seems there is to be a dance at the celebration, the Princess will be a participant, you are lucky my friend," Biz congratulated before he left his friend to watch his future wife. Dastan was all too happy to stay crouched and clinging to the rooftop just to get glimpses of Tamina. After the rehearsal, Tamina asked the musicians to play something else, something upbeat and fun. Dastan watched, enraptured as Tamina and her handmaidens seemed to dance freely and chanting and clapping out a rhythm, it was then that Tamina didn't wear her 'Princess' facade but was just being herself, a young woman enjoying herself, smiling, laughing and sometimes dancing in a funny fashion to get her handmaidens to laugh harder and loose their rhythm for a moment. This was the Tamina Dastan was looking for. This is the one he wanted to see and get to know better. There was a call for dinner and Dastan quickly slipped back to his room to bathe and change. So knives and dancing, were the key, awesome, except Dastan couldn't dance, at all.

Dastan practically ran to the Princesses chambers, hoping he could escort her to dinner. He was delighted to find out that she was almost ready and that he was allowed escort her to dinner.

"Well this is a surprise," Tamina said coyly as she left her chambers and watched in anticipation as Dastan bowed to kiss her fingers and gently took her hand into the crook of his arm as he led them to the dining hall, her handmaidens right behind them, whispering as quietly as they could amongst themselves.

"A pleasant surprise I hope, one that I could repeat?" Dastan ventured in a low tone so that only Tamina should have heard.

"That would please me very much," Tamina replied in kind with a smile and a slight nod.

At dinner they seemed to sit just a little closer than usual, sharing secret looks and smiles, acting more like lovers than a couple about to be joined just for political purposes. This was not lost on Dastan's family of Tamina's handmaidens who all seemed to wearing serene and excited smiles.

However the next few days and weeks leading up to the ceremony Tamina regretfully canceled their daily walks, instead, practicing harder than ever to make sure the dance would go off perfectly, she could not fail at this. When Dastan would wait outside her chambers to escort her to whichever meal there was and asked about her disappearances, Tamina explained that there were certain ceremonies that needed to be taken care of and prepared for that she needed to personally oversee. And if it wasn't for those she would gladly join him in whatever activity he wanted. The earnestness in her voice and face showed that she was telling mostly the truth. Dastan accepted her explanation but was still a little suspicious.

There seemed a new distance between them that they both could feel and didn't like but for everything to go as planned, it had to be done.

The night before the celebration Tamina tossed and turned in her bed, anxious about the next day's events. She knew she needed the rest but it was eluding her, she got out of bed and drank some water and ate an apple to calm her stomach.

"Restless Princess?" Dastan called out as he came through the curtains of her balcony.

Tamina gasped and whirled around, dagger in hand, ready to defend herself like Dastan had taught her but relaxed and put down the dagger when she realized it was only him.

"Dastan, don't scare me like that!" Tamina chastised. "And why the formality, we are to be married in two days and you yourself have told me to use only our names when we are alone." Tamina pointed out suspiciously before she tensed again.

"It seems you haven't been completely honest with me, I'm not one for lies or trickery," Dastan said plainly as he sat in one of her chairs. "So what are you not telling me? What's really going on?"

"With what?" Tamina asked in return, exhausted and the last thing she wanted was to be drilled with questions. She got back in bed but stayed sitting up to keep an eye on him.

"I get it, you are a guardian, you're a Princess, you are many things, but before I give my life into your hands, I need you to be honest with me."

"And you need to be honest with me," Tamina mirrored, folding her arms over her chest. "There are things you say that puzzle me. Yes I am a guardian of a holy city, I am the sole Ruler of said city, for the next two days at least and with that comes a lot of responsibilities, obligations and traditions that must be carried out by me personally, I am sorry that has seemed to take me away from you but thats the reality of the matter, what else is there to tell?" Tamina questioned, her exhaustion and irritation becoming clear. When Dastan took too much time to answer her she growled in frustration and threw her hands up in the air before laying back in the bed, rubbing her face before pulling herself together and she sat up again, her cool, calm facade back into place on her face.

"Prince, I swear to you, I have not lied to you, nor have I been trying to trick you. You have to trust me and have some faith in me. I promise everything will be alright. In the meantime, it is unseemly for you to be here. You need to leave Prince." Tamina ordered and pointed to her window. "And don't let anyone see you, the last thing I need is more gossip in this palace." Tamina scowled before turning her back to him and throwing the covers up to her neck.

Dastan sighed disappointedly and whispered a 'goodnight Princess' before leaving without a trace.

Tamina fought back stinging tears, the last thing she wanted was a fight the night before she would take such a big risk in trying to please him. She contemplated calling the whole thing off. Or just have herself be a spectator of the event. She sniffled and buried her face in her pillow and prayed for sleep and for Dastan's forgiveness. Dastan overheard her and it broke his heart to hear her cry, guilt plagued him and stabbed at his heart. He should have been more gentle with her. And not gotten to her when she felt vulnerable, all that did was make her put up her walls again, it felt like one step forward but instead of two, three steps back, almost back to where they started.

The next morning he was at her door, waiting to bring her down for breakfast when servants passed him carrying large tray after tray of food into the Princess' chamber. Irina came to the door and informed Dastan that the Princess would not be leaving her chambers until the celebration but that even then, it was forbidden for him to escort her and if he wanted to see the Princess, he would just have to wait at the celebration site but to otherwise leave. She seemed irritated at his very presence, no doubt Tamina had told her closest handmaiden what had happened the night before. He found a piece of paper, wrote down a quick apology and begged for forgiveness for upsetting her the night before. He had been missing her and had became worried about her when he wasn't able to see her so much. And looked forward to seeing her at the celebration then slipped it under the door before leaving and giving Tamina and her party the space they requested.

"You look troubled, you should be happy, this is special day, Alamut puts on a special celebration for us this day, in your honor." Tus said at breakfast when it was just the three brothers.

"I did something stupid." Dastan admitted, picking at his plate, loosing his appetite.

"Oh god, you didn't let her catch you spying on her did you?" Garsiv deadpanned.

"No, usually we take our walks in the garden so she can get to know me but lately she's canceled and claims that there are ceremonies and such that she 'personally' must oversee but my gut tells me it's something else, she's hiding something from me." Dastan admitted.

"Do you have any clue what it might be?" Tus questioned.

Dastan took a deep breath, having a very good idea what it could be but didn't want to spoil anything. "Not really, she just keeps disappearing, for hours at a time, she says she's 'praying' at the high temple but honestly how many hours does a girl need to pray for?"

"So you questioned her about it," Tus assumed.

"Maybe she's working on a surprise for you, have you ever thought of that?" Garsiv questioned, his patience at Danstan's daftness running thin.

"You've said yourself she has grown to like you, you told us the gifts you have been giving her and her secret 'thanks', I've seen the two of you together, I say you're worrying over nothing, just wait and see what the celebration holds for us." Tus encouraged.

Dastan fidgeted on his dias along with his brothers as they watched the celebration commence and a feast be brought before them.

"Where is the Princess?" Tus questioned everyone around him.

"I can answer that," Irina said from behind him, seeming to come out of nowhere before circling around to stand before the three brothers.

"Princes, tonight you shall enjoy a special treat. It has been a long time honored tradition and custom that the bride dance along with her friends and relatives, her face veiled, in a costume no different from all the other dancers. After the dance is over, it is you Prince Dastan that has to pick out your bride. If you choose correctly there is a second ceremonial performance that will take place, choose wrongly and the commencement of the marriage will not take place for at least three months, you will have to sleep on a rug outside her bedchamber but to not enter it in all that time and are to never be alone with her for that time as well. It is the law and tradition that you and your brothers have already signed and agreed to when going over traditions in the negotiations that have already taken place. So choose wisely Prince Dastan." Irina warned before bowing and taking her leave.

"Well there you have your answer," Tus said as he clasped a hand on Dastan's shoulder, "May the gods help you choose her the first time. Three months is a long time for anyone."

Dastan immediately lost his appetite and looked at the stage intently waiting for the performance to start. He was anxious and hoped he could still recognize her, even with her disguised and veiled.

He didn't have to wait long before Irina was on the stage, calling everyone to order and to be quiet as she announced the sacred ritualistic dance and the dancers. Dastan inwardly groaned, they all looked practically identical. They all were painted in gilded gold intricate designs, their dancing costumes were all identical, their veils covered their whole faces he could barely distinguish any facial features. He had his work cut out for him.

He did watch in awe and amazement as they all synchronized their movements to the now familiar music, but at his vantage point before, he couldn't be quite sure where Tamina stood. He tried to scrutinize every dancer, he tried to recall the outfit Tamina had worn from the Time before, when he had to carry that overly obese dignitary. How her body looked, how it moved. He watched for the most graceful dancer, but they were all so good, the dance itself was brilliant and quite impressive. He didn't know people could move in such an amazing manner, on the tips of their toes most of the time at that. But suddenly, as if the gods had control over his eyes, he found her, she was indeed the most graceful and doing most of the acrobatic stunts, she even, along with another dancer went running up a wall and doing a flip, something Dastan was famous for, but they kept going, doing flawless back flip after back flip until they reached the edge of the stage. Dastan worried they would fall off but instead they cartwheeled back into the group and seeming to blend in seamlessly back into the dance with the other dancers. But Dastan kept his eye on his Princess, he had lost her once in the Time before, he wasn't about to loose her again. He smiled as he enjoyed the performance and was the first to applaud as he stood from his dias and whistled loudly and got everyone to cheer so raucously it was almost deafening. He then proceeded to make his way to the stage, not bothering with the stairs but simply scaling it to get on.

"Eager brother?" Tus teased from his spot.

"Prince Dastan, you should be more dignified at such a ceremonial event." Irina chastised before leading him to the group of dancers as they all held their hands out but had their heads bowed, their headdresses obscuring any other view of their faces. But Dastan didn't need to look, he knew which one was his Princess, he made a show of looking at all the other dancers, leaving her for last. He would know her hands anywhere, the hands he held on to so many times, the ones he kissed as often as he could. He gently put his hands under hers and bowed and kissed each palm.

"You are my Princess, Tamina." Dastan said confidently as he squeezed her hands comfortingly. Almira who was the dancer next to Tamina lifted Tamina's veil and took off Tamina's headdress to show that Dastan had indeed chose correctly. The entire palace seemed to erupt in cheering as more wine was poured. Tamina fought back tears through her smile and squeezed back but now knew she had one more ceremony to complete. She withdrew a white sash from her hips and handed it to him. Before Dastan could question her action, Irina narrated to the audience that Tamina would now honor Dastan as the Warrior Prince he was by doing a sword dance, using his sword. Things clicked into place in Dastan's mind as he playfully narrowed his eyes at her, that was why she wanted to handle his sword. So she could handle it and not get hurt for this.

"Don't cut yourself Princess," Dastan whispered in her ear as he pulled her close to pass his sword to her. She nodded and turned around her back to him.

"You are to blind fold her Prince," Irina instructed as she gestured for the sash still in Dastan's hand as all the other dancers left the stage.

"You can't be serious, she could hurt herself, very badly, my blade is..." Dastan argued, concerned for Tamina's safety.

"Very sharp, yes, we know, now blind fold her, it has a sacred meaning that even if there is unseen danger, your blade will always protect her, even if she has to wield it herself." Irina explained.

"Please Dastan, I want to do this, I want to honor you," Tamina quietly pleaded over her shoulder.

Dastan sighed in defeat and did as he was told, he even knotted it the way Irina told him to. Then he was led off stage and to stand right in front of it, in the center to get the best view. He tried not to hold his breath as Tamina was led directly to the center of the stage, even the musicians moved off stage, instead off to the side.

At Irina's silent indication, the music started and Dastan watched as Tamina moved with the music, the blade, his blade, becoming an extension of herself. He had seen her dance just moments before but this dance was different, more sensual perhaps because of the way she rolled her hips and midsection. But then she balanced his blade on the top of her head and continued to dance, the blade staying perfectly balanced on her head and barely moving at all, even when she would spin and drop to the floor on her knees. Her sense of balance was unparalleled especially since Dastan's blade wasn't the most balanced.

She then began doing acrobatic stunts and fighting techniques with it, using up the whole stage, now Dastan understood why she was the only one up there. She somehow found her way back to the middle of the stage and started spinning so fast with it until she threw it up high into the air, it twisting and turning in the air as she started to run in large circle before diving as the blade almost hit the ground, she successfully grabbed it by the handle and somersaulted with the blade to the end of the stage, stopping just short of the edge and pointed the tip right at Dastan. The music stopped Tamina removed her own blindfold and smiled elatedly that the blade had indeed found Dastan again. She turned the blade and presented it back at him with a bow so that Dastan could return it to it's sheath. Dastan practically pulled Tamina off the stage and into his arms and kissed her soundly, not caring about tradition or that they were in the middle of a cheering and whooping mob of celebrating guests. Tamina melted into him, all her anxiety and nervousness melting away in his embrace. She was done for the night, now she could eat and relax and celebrate with her betrothed the way they were meant to. After a quick wardrobe change of course. She was a Princess after all and needed to look that part too. Her beautiful golden painted designs however stayed on her skin.

"Happy you chose wisely?" Tamina teased once they were under their own private dias which gave them some privacy.

"Very much so, and also relieved that you didn't hurt yourself." Dastan admitted as he wrapped a possessive arm around her waist and kissed her shoulder sweetly.

"I got your note Dastan, thank you for apologizing, I have been working so hard and for so long for this ceremony to go perfectly, that's what kept me from you, that's what I've been hiding. Because I was afraid..." Tamina cut herself off as she felt her emotion flood into her voice.

"Afraid of what?" Dastan asked, his concern clear.

Tamina took a deep breath and looked up, blinking back her tears. "It would be best we continue this conversation later, now let's just celebrate and relax, now that I can finally eat something without feeling like I'll throw it up." Almira suggested as she took a piece of bread and wrapped it around a piece of seasoned lamb and rice and relished in the taste, of cumin, saffron and garlic. She took another piece and did the same, offering it to Dastan. He smiled and gently held her arm and ate it from her fingertips, licking them and playfully biting them and watching in delight as she giggled and squirmed a little, smacking him on the shoulder for such a bold display of affection but the sting of her anger extinguished when he leaned forward to kiss her again, gentle but possessive just the same.

After they were able to sneak away. Dastan escorted her back to her bedchamber. This time stopping just short of it and turning to face Tamina, thinking he was going to kiss her again, she stepped forward and leaned her head up so that he could kiss her more easily. But Dastan resisted such a great temptation.

"Before I kiss you goodnight, I need you to tell me what you were afraid of." Gathering her hands into his and squeezing them comfortingly.

"Oh," Tamina replied, as she held her head down and tried to steel herself once more. She took a deep breath and looked into Dastan's eyes, those gorgeous blue eyes that held so much love and care for her.

"My whole life, I have loved to dance, even before I was chosen by the gods to be a guardian. Even after, it was one of the few things I could do to get relief from the pressures of being a guardian and a Princess. It feels like the god's good spirit flows through me when I dance and it is one of the greatest joys I have. But when..." Tamina stopped as she bit her lips and her voice began to tremble. "But when you attacked and took over, my handmaidens saw the lurid dancing the Persian girls did and I assumed you would reduce my art of dancing to such a thing or that you wouldn't like it or it wasn't fit for me to do or to enjoy since it only seemed like slave girls would do it." Tamina admitted as tears began to flow down her cheeks.

"Tamina," Dastan whispered reverently as he enveloped her into his arms and held her as close as he dared for fear of breaking her. "I would never think such a thing, you are obviously a god given talented dancer, what the whores that follow the armies do is not even dancing, it's...it's jiggling if anything," Dastan tried to explain when suddenly Tamina burst out laughing.

"That's how Irina described it, jiggling," Tamina explained through her now fit of laughter before she calmed herself to talk seriously again. "So you liked it then?" Tamina hedged.

"Oh, if you were to dance like that when we are alone, there's no telling what might happen, but theres a good chance it will involve a bed, or some other flat surface," Dastan replied huskily into the shell of her ear before gently biting the lobe and leaving soft bites and kisses down her neck and shoulder, as much as her garment would allow. He felt Tamina relax and sigh happily at his affections. When his mouth did finally meet hers, she was kissing him back with more veracity than he anticipated and he knew that if they didn't stop soon, she would feel guilty for ruining the sanctity of their marriage tomorrow.

He reluctantly pulled her back and let them both catch their breath. "If I don't stop now, I won't be able to stop ever. So let's pause this and pick up where we left off tomorrow when we're married." Dastan insisted.

"Since when are you the voice of reason?" Tamina rhetorically asked but knew he had a point. "But you're right Dastan, we should wait until tomorrow, besides, you should get your rest, you are going to need it my sweet Prince," Tamina taunted before kissing him enticingly and sauntered to her door and winking at him before she closed it.

Dastan couldn't help it, he opened one side of the double doors to find her resting her back against the other. He quickly shut the door and pressed her up on the one she was resting against and kissed her again.

"I need you to know, that I am marrying you tomorrow because I love you, even if it wasn't an alliance, even if I wasn't a Prince, I would marry you and love you for the rest of my life no matter the circumstances." Dastan said as he pulled away.

"I love you too Dastan, Prince or not, it's your heart that has won me over," Tamina replied with just as much love in her eyes for him as he had for her. They kissed once more before they bid each other goodnight.

Tamina prayed in her bed that night, and thanked the gods, for all that they have given her, a strong city, a strong alliance, a strong heart, a strong soon to be husband who loved her and treated her better than she could have ever hoped for. She also thanked them for giving her a new joy in life, Dastan.

Author's notes- I AM SO SORRY I HAVE BEEN GONE FOR SO LONG, HELL BROKE LOOSE IN MY PERSONAL LIFE AND I HAD TO WRESTLE A FEW DEMONS. But now that things are calming down, I AM BACK BABY. So let me explain, I LOVE THIS MOVIE. I have it on blueray, dvd and digitally downloaded on almost every device i have. However I was listening to Alnis Morrisett'es song she did for the movie 'I Remain' and as I was swaying to the music in my kitchen making dinner, this thought and idea came to me out of nowhere, I watched the movie over (and over) and listened to the song again, (over and over and over again) and this is the result. Sadly, because I am an impatiant person, I'm putting this out there unbetaed and so if you see mistakes in grammar or spelling, I'm sorry, I was just so excited to get this out. Enjoy.