Chapter 2: Across the Land

The sun kissed the hills of the distant mountains. As the sun began to rise over the mountains, sunbeams hit a stone castle. Ivy ran up the towers of the castle, making it seem like it had been run down for a long time. There was life in the castle, though. On the balcony of one of the towers stood a female. She was bent over, her elbows resting on the railing of the balcony, her orange hair with black, red, and white highlights dancing in the cool breeze. Her distant eyes stared out across the land, wanting to be free. She was a princess, yet this wasn't her land to rule. She was Princess Rumpleteazer, the daughter of a dead royalty line and was given to her aunt, Queen Griddlebone. She had appeared as a a child after the land of her parents were taken over and everyone destroyed. She had been sent to her aunt before the war got to out of hand to stay. Queen Griddlebone had welcomed her with open arms, but King Growltiger did not. He had treated the young queen poorly, and paid attention to his son and heir, Prince Macavity. Once news reached the castle that Rumpleteazer's parents had been murdered and the country had been taken over, Rumpleteazer was devastated. Queen Griddlebone had decided to adopted the child, but Growltiger would have no part of the girl. Rumpleteazer stayed in her room most of the time, trying to stay out of the sight of her uncle. Macavity cared for her, treating her as a sister to him, but would no show it in front of his father. Growltiger and Griddlebone loved sailing and not to long ago they had set sail once again. Griddlebone bid farewell to her adopted daughter and her son. Before she left, she told Rumpleteazer to be strong and kissed the top of her head. Growltiger had bid farewell to his son, but ignored the girl. The castle was divided in liking the princess. The ones under Growltiger's hand had been told to keep the princess in her chambers and to treat her as rude as they could, but not to kill her for Griddlebone loved her to much. He had threatened to kill anyone who did not obey his orders. The King and Queen left to sail off two years ago and they had not returned since. It had been rumored that the Siamese were on the waters when the two sailed off, but no one could verify the source.

Rumpleteazer was alone and unloved. She so wished to go out of her chambers to run around, but she knew Macavity would not let her. Then it struck her. Macavity was not to return until later that evening. She smiled brightly as she turned and ran into her room. She slipped her shoes on and walked over to the door. She opened it slightly, looked out, and opened the door all the way. She slipped out and shut the door. She looked around and began to run down the corridor. Her heels clicked on the stone floor as she ran through the halls. She came upon the stairs and flew down them as fast as she could, giggling on the inside but showed a smile on the outside. She slid a bit at the bottom, but she caught her self and stopped. She straighted out the skirts of her dress as she caught her breath. A soft grumble was heard and Rumpleteazer giggled softly. She hadn't ate anything since the night before. A trip to the kitchen seemed to be at hand.

Rumpleteazer made her way to the kitchen and entered in slowly. She could smell the food for dinner that night cooking away. They always prepared the best for the prince. No one seemed to be around and she walked around. She noticed a loaf of fresh bread sitting on the counter, cooling. She loved the taste of fresh bread and walked over to the counter top. She reached down and grabbed it. She took a deep breath and sighed from delight. She spotted some cheese to the side of it and went to grab it, but a hand wrapped around her wrist and she twirled around. One of the cooks were glaring down at her. Rumpleteazer's chest began to race as she looked up at the cook with fearful eyes.

"What are you doing down here?" he growled, tightening his grip on her wrist.

"I... I was hungry..." Rumpleteazer whimpered softly.

"It is not dinner time and you aren't allowed to be out of your chambers while King Growltiger is away," he growled. "I might have to teach you a lesson by taking your hand." Rumpleteazer gasped and jerked her arm away from the cook when he began to loosen his grip. She dropped the bread and ran out of the kitchen, scared for her life. She ran down the hallway and up the stairs, tripping up the stairs and hitting them hard. She let out a small gasp but got up and continued to run. Her eyes were filled with tears from fright and pain. She ran past a cat dressed in black robes, blending in perfectly with his fur. He watched her run past him, a stream of tears escaping her eyes and falling to the floor.

"Princess Rumpleteazer..." he said softly.

Rumpleteazer flung herself onto her bed and began to cry. She grabbed her pillow and hugged it to her heaving body. She was doomed to die in her room, she knew that she would never be let out of her hell hole. She just wanted to die right then and there. Her body went in violent heaves as she cried hard, pain in her heart and in her body. She felt her bed sink down and the present of a body near her. A gentle hand settled on her heaving arm and she shivered at the touch.

"Princess Rumpleteazer..." spoke the tenor voice. It was soft and soothing.

"Mistoffelees..." she spoke softly, her voice trembling and raspy.

"What ails you dear one?" he asked, his hand running down her hair, the silky strands tangling in his fingers. She said nothing. "Do you care for me to stay?" Silence yet again. Mistoffelees sighed and slowly got up from the bed and exited out of the room. Rumpleteazer still held her pillow, but squeezed it tightly and sobbed out a whisper, as a little child would do when they were scared.

"Mistoffelees... please.. come back..." Halfway down the hall Mistoffelees stopped as if he heard the scared queens plead... but he kept on walking, leaving the princess to her tears.

Mistoffelees made his way up to the tallest tower of the castle. He entered his room, it dark and mystic. Candles burned around his room, a black curtain covering the window. A crow stood on his post, eating the food Mistoffelees left for him. He magician walked over to his table and sat down, looking down at the letter he had been writing. The crow flew over and landed on Mistoffelees' shoulder. Mistoffelees stroked the head of the animal gently as he read over the letter. He folded it up and slid it into an envelope. The crow waited patiently as the letter was tied onto his leg. Mistoffelees opened the curtain as light of the day flooded into the room.

"Go my dear, take this letter to my love." he spoke softly. The crow cawed and flew out of the room. Mistoffelees watched as the crow made his way to the kingdom of Deuteronomy. "Exotica my love, I will be with you again. I promise you this." The magician closed the curtains and made his way over to his bed. He sat upon it as he looked up. He would be with his love again, not even the Heavyside would keep him away.

"Did you hear all those screams in that town? It was like music to my ears," said a gruff looking knight as he sipped a cup of water. Three knights sat around a burning fire. One nodded, laughing while the other stared off into space. While he was staring off into space, he noticed a glimmer of blue in the distance. Gilbert knew what it was... it was water. The sea. Gilbert longed to be on the sea again but couldn't because he had been beaten by Genghis. Gilbert used to be the leader of the Siamese and was going to attack Growltiger but was challenged by Genghis and was beaten. Ashamed, Gilbert had fled to the mainland and begged to be apart of Growltiger's crew. He changed his name to Gil, hoping he wouldn't be recognized by Growltiger. He was lucky that he wasn't recognized as the past leader. He hoped he would go with Growltiger so he could take his revenge on Genghis and destroy Growltiger at the same time. Alas, he was stuck with two younger toms named Pouncival and Bill Bailey. Gilbert sighed and poked at the ground.

"Don't you think so Gil?" asked Bill Bailey, jabbing Gilbert with a stick. He looked up at the younger tom.

"Huh?" he asked.

"Don't you think that seeing those stupid villagers burn in that fire was well worth sticking around?"

"Yeah... of course." Pouncival hit Bill Bailey in the shoulder.

"Hey you mutt, thats my piece of meat!" he exclaimed.

"Like hell it is, its mine." retorted Bill Bailey, scarfing the meat down. Pouncival pounced on his partner and began to wrestle with him.

"Give it, give it!" Gilbert snickered as he looked out across the land. His nose twitched and he got up.

"Guys, get your arses up, we need to move out..." The two toms looked at the older knight.

"Why?" asked Pouncival.

"Because... There are horses no more than two miles away just waiting to go and they probably passed the burnt town... And we need to get to back to the castle to get our next orders..." Gilbert said, walking over to his horse and mounted it. "Don't forget to put out the fire." The two younger toms looked at each other. They put out the fire and mounted their horses and started off toward the castle.

I'll be with you... now and forever...

Jemima couldn't sleep. Images of her mother.. her father... her sister.. burning.. She couldn't take it. What was she to do? She couldn't sleep... she couldn't get the horrible images out of her head. Her hands clutched her ears, her eyes squeezing tight.

Ignore them... ignore everything... I can't do anything now.. they are gone.. they are gone.

Are you sure?

Jemima trembled. Yes.. I'm sure.. they are gone! Stop talking to me! Leave me alone!

Jemima gave a whimper. Why wouldn't the voice leave her head.. the one that haunted her throughout the night, the one making her feel pain.. making her wish she was with her family. She sniffed, blinking her eyes. She was tired... oh so tired. Her body felt weak... she needed sleep... Her eyes closed slowly, finally exhaustion setting in.. Sleep... sleep..

"Get up," said a voice, hands grabbing her shoulders. "Up I say," Jemima wiggled, grumbling to herself.

"Leave me alone." she mumbled, "I'm tired, let me sleep," she whispered, her eyes still closed.

"We need to get ready to ride off, we have no time to be lazy Ms Jemima," said the voice, shaking her. Tumblebrutus was kneeling before her, trying to wake the sleepy queen. She was beginning to get on his nerves, he was starting to wish that he had left her there at the burning village.

"Five minutes, thats all I ask," she said clearly, her eyes slowly opening. She felt here body being pulled up quickly, hands strong and gripping on her arms. They squeezed. She let out a cry. "What are you doing?" she gasped.

"You are getting up now," he said. Jemima looked up at him, her eyes full of tears.

"You're hurting me! Please let go!" she cried, her chest beginning to heave. Her body hurt, and she didn't want to feel pain.. especially from someone who was suppose to be looking out for her. Tumblebrutus looked at her, his eyes loosening... He didn't mean to hurt her... he just wanted her up. Jemima fell back to the ground, curling up into a ball, crying softly.

"I just wanna be alone.." she whispered. Tumblebrutus turned and walked out of the tent, his eyes cast down. He shouldn't have been so rough with her... she had just lost her whole life. He clutched his fist. Why.. why must he be so rough?

"Hey Tumblebrutus... what happened in there?" asked Carbucketty, looking up from taking a bite of breakfast.

"Nothing... get everything ready, we are leaving within the hour," said Tumblebrutus, glancing at the tent. He shook it off and walked over to where he had slept and began to pack everything up.

"Right," said Carbucketty, pouring a bucket of water onto the fire.

The land was bright, and green, though inside the castle it was not. Three horses neighed, their hooves pounding at the ground. They knew they had an important job to do, and they were up to it. The squires began to tend to the horses, strapping on their saddles, putting on their reins, making sure everything was okay.

"Be careful with him, he's starting to dislike that saddle," said Munkustrap, watching the young squire saddle his steed.

King Deuteronomy watched, his daughter, Bombalurina, and lady in waiting Victoria at his side. Victoria watched on, her hands clasped together. Her brother would be leaving her, and she feared he may not come back. She held back her tears, she didn't want him to see her cry before he left. She wanted him to see her happy.. in case he would never return. Munkustrap turned and looked at the King, Tugger and Alonzo on either side of him.

"The fastest way to get to Macavity's castle is to go through the dark forest... Its dangerous so do no let your guard down. Don't go through it at night, it is the most dangerous at night," explained the King, looking at the three ready nights.

"Yes your majesty," responded Munkustrap, bowing, the other two following in suit. Victoria walked over to Alonzo and kissed his cheek gently.

"Be careful brother," she whispered. Alonzo smiled and gave Victoria a hug.

"Do not worry, I'll come back safe," he said into her ear. Victoria closed her eyes as she was embraced but felt him pull away.

"You be careful," said Bombalurina, hugging onto Tugger.

"Ah, careful? I'm a knight, I live for danger," he said, patting Bombalurina's head. "I expect a great meal once I get home, better start cooking on it sweetheart," he said, tickling Bombalurina under her chin. Alonzo watched as Bombalurina smiled and looked down at the ground. Forget her... Bombalurina gave a gentle smile to Tugger and watched as the three knights galloped off.

Be safe... please bring back my daughter... Thought King Deuteronomy, watching the dust settle down to the earth.

"Eeee!" squealed Etcetera, her nose pressed against the window. She watched the three knights ride off, her tail waving back and forth in delight. "They are going to save the princess.. I must tell Electra they left!" She hopped off the crate she had been standing on, almost tripping over her feet. Whoops! I need to be more careful!

Peck peck!

Etcetera turned around, her ears twitching. What was with the pecking? She blinked as she saw a black crow ruffling its feathers on the window sill. Etcetera climbed back up on the crate.

"You silly bird.. what do you have there?" she asked herself, opening the window. The crow hopped into the room, dropping the addressed envelope onto the table. It squeaked, obviously hungry from its long flight. Etcetera pulled out a couple crumbs from her pockets, handing it out to the bird. The crow squawked, nabbing the crumb, and flying out the window. Etcetera picked up the envelope and turned it around.

"What does this say?" she asked herself. The letters ran together, the only thing she could understand was X. "Hmm.. X.. Oh! It must be for Tica!" she said. She giggled, turning the envelope around looking at the seal. She wanted to open it... she was awfully curious.. She sighed, her ears drooping. It wouldn't matter, she couldn't read it anyway. :"Thats no fun.. stupid people who can read and write..." she muttered. She hopped off the box again and ran through the kitchen.

Etcetera skipped up the corridor stairs, humming softly to herself. She noticed the dark colored female in front of her.

"Exotica!" she shouted. Exotica turned around, her broom in hand.

"Yes?" she asked, curiously

"You got a letter," Etcetera said, handing a letter to her. Exotica looked at the letter. She noticed the handwriting on the envelope and grabbed it.

"Thank you," she said quickly, turning her back. Etcetera's eyes danced and she smiled. She peered over Exotica's shoulder, trying to see if she was going to open it.

"Is it from..." Exotica almost jumped at the presence of the girl next to her.

"From who?" asked Exotica, annoyance in her voice.

"A lover?" whispered Etcetera, bouncing up and down. Exotica's eyes widen for a second then she rolled them.

"No, its from my aunt," She lied. Etcetera settled down and looked at Exotica.

"Okay, okay, whatever you say Tica. Say hello to your aunt for me." cooed Etcetera and she turned around and bounced back off to the kitchen so she wouldn't get in trouble. Exotica watched as the kitten scurried off and she looked around. She walked over to a hidden corner and sat down. She wrapped her arm around the broom so it wouldn't fall and began to tear at the envelope. She pulled out the paper and closed her eyes. She brought the parchment to her nose and sniffed it. It smelt like him..

"Mistoffelees..."she whispered as she opened the letter. Her eyes danced over the neat handwriting.

My Dearest Love,

It has been hard here in the castle, knowing you are over there in our rival's territory. I think it was a horrible thing. I think about you every day and I count down the days that we will be together once more. I know there is no set day, but inside I can feel that we will be together soon. You do not deserve to be over there, and if it was my decision, you'd be here by my side like you once were before you were torn from me. I blame Growltiger, for he never really looked high upon me so that meant he didn't give a rats tail about you, but with Growltiger gone I know we will be together. The servants in the castle are waiting for the return of their glorious King, but I know that he will never show again... and once this is realized, I will be there for you if not sooner. Until we can be together my love...

Love, Mistoffelees

Butterflies danced inside of Exotica, making her cheeks red and a smile spread across her face. She kissed the letter and folded it up and shoved the parchment down her shirt. If anyone were to get a hold of her letter, there would be trouble. She stood up and exited from the dark corner to get back to her chores. She believed in her mate, and would wait one hundred years if it meant they would be together again.

Darkness was all around her. That is what she wanted... darkness. She felt her body begin to shake. Leave me be... I like the darkness... leave me be... The shaking began to get harder and faster and finally the princess opened her eyes. Her vision was blurred but soon everything came into focus, especially the man who was standing over her... Macavity. Demeter opened her mouth to let out a frightful scream, but Macavity muffled her voice, his eyes going from gentle to cold in less than a second.

"Don't scream," he said gently, "for if you do, the creatures of this forest will think you area dying creature. They'd surround you and eat you in a heartbeat... so keep your voice down and no screaming." he finished. Demeter nodded and Macavity pulled his hand away from her mouth. Demeter looked at him. Something was different... he wasn't as cold as he was before... he actually seemed nice. Her nose picked up a scent and she looked over him. Her stomach growled loudly and Macavity grinned a bit but kept it hidden.

"You hungry Princess?" he purred. Demeter looked at him and gave a nod. No matter how nice he was acting, she still didn't want anything to do with him. She watched as Macavity fixed her a plate of food and handed it over to her. She took it and began to eat, turning away from Macavity. Macavity watched her and surveyed her. He was already starting to get to her... and it made him extremely happy. He fixed himself a small plate and began to eat silently, his eyes watching the Princess. Getting her to love him might not be as hard as he planned, with him acting so nice to her, but he still needed help to make it go faster. He began to think on how he could get her to fall in love with him so fast. Then it struck her. My magician... I can get Mistoffelees to help me... why didn't I think of this before? Macavity, you are a smart cat. Macavity got up, putting his plate into the empty cooking pot. He threw it into a satchel and threw it over his horse's back. Demeter looked up at him.

"What are you doing?" she asked, curious on the sudden movement of Macavity. Macavity grabbed her by the wrist, taking the plate and putting it into the satchel as well.

"We are leaving, we must get to my castle by twilight," explained Macavity. He moved quickly, packing up the tent and he mounted his horse, pulling the Princess up after him. He clicked his heels against his steed and the horse neighed, going into a trout. Demeter held onto the mane of the horse and looked in front of her. She didn't want to pay attention to Macavity on the way to his castle... She wanted to go home but knew she wouldn't last a night by herself... Her only hope was that someone was to rescue her.

The sun shone bright over the glimmering prairie. The wind blew, making the grass dance in the wind. The hooves of horses echoed in the air, mixing with the wind and the chirping of birds. A group of horses rode across the land, their eyes surveying their surroundings. The horse in the lead came to a stop, the steed he was riding rearing a bit, upset that his stride was interrupted. The rest of the horses came to a stop.

"What is it Carbucketty?" asked Tumblebrutus, his eyes looking at his partner. Carbucketty looked behind him.

"It's a fire." he said, sliding off his horse. He walked over to it and knelt down to survey it. "It was put out not to long ago... It was probably made by the people who burned down that village..." he explained, his eyes surveying the land. Tumblebrutus' ears twitched.

"They probably did..." he said. He looked around. They didn't have time... no time... "Leave them... They are probably far gone." explained Tumblebrutus. Carbucketty looked at him.

"Are you sure? We could get in trouble for letting them go." explained Carbucketty. He didn't like the idea, but Tumblebrutus was his superior and he didn't want to disobey him.

"Yes... I'm sure." Jemima turned and looked at Tumblebrutus.

"What did you say?" she said, her eyes big. Tumblebrutus looked down at her.

"Are you questioning me?" he asked. Jemima's chest began to heave as she held back her temper, which didn't work very well.

"Those people killed my family, my friends, and you are just going to let him walk!" She clenched her fists, her eyes beginning to tear up.

"We don't have the time to look for them, we are on a tight schedule. Besides, they are far gone, who knows how fast their horses are or even if they were the ones who burnt down the village." explained Tumblebrutus, trying to keep his temper. Jemima began to pound on Tumblebrutus' chest, soft sobs escaping her lips. Tumblebrutus tried to calm her by grabbing her wrists but it didn't work. She tugged away from him and slid off the horse, falling to her knees. She collapsed onto the ground, her sobs becoming louder. She didn't understand why they weren't going after the people who killed her parents, her whole life. She clenched her eyes shut, her hands taking in tuffs of earth into her shaking hands. Tumblebrutus watched the shaken female and his eyes became sad. She was so delicate, he had never encountered a female as her. She had lost everything... she was hurt and he kept adding to her pain. He wasn't being a knight, he was being a jerk. He slid off his horse and knelt down to the shaking body of Jemima. He laid his hand upon her shoulder and spoke softly.

"I know you've lost everything, and I know that I am not helping. I'm being more of a jerk at the moment than a knight, but what I'm doing is what is the best thing to do and I don't mean to hurt you. We have to meet someone... and time is running short, I'm afraid that I'm going to lose her and I keep putting that in front and shrugging everything to the side," explained Tumblebrutus. He felt her body stop her shaking and untensed. She looked up at him, and felt as his hand brushed the tears away from her cheeks. He cupped her cheek and stared down into her sadden eyes.

"I'm sorry, I'm sorry for everything," he said. Jemima looked back at him and found herself embracing him. She closed her eyes and whimpered softly. Tumblebrutus was thrown off, he wasn't expecting that. He figured he'd get an okay or you jerk but not a hug. His arms wrapped around her and held her to him.

"I forgive you.." she whispered.

Three horses neigh at the same time, one of them dipping their nose into the ice blue stream. The other two neigh, stomping their hooves. It was mid afternoon and the sun was high in the sky. A night laid under a shady tree, already taking a nap. Two other knights were sitting near him, both taking a load off. Tugger smiled as he took a bite into a piece of bread.

"A knight going to the rescue of a Princess, what a wonderful story," cooed Tugger, taking another piece of bread and shoving it into his mouth. Alonzo looked at him, his blue eyes watching him.

"Speaking of Princesses..." he started, "how close are you and Princess Bombalurina?" he asked. Tugger glanced over at Alonzo and gave a grin.

"I like her, she's a really fine piece of work. Nice red fur, brilliant eyes, a nice bum, everything I look for in a girl and believe me, I can have any girl I wanted, the Princess should be honored," explained Tugger. "Don't know if I'd marry her though... Thinking about being tied down just doesn't suit me," he explained. Alonzo looked at Tugger. While he talked, something inside of him stirred but it felt different than what it had been whenever he first knew that Bombalurina was after Tugger and vice versa.. it was... a lot tamer...

"If you harm her, I'm going to cut your friends off and feed them to your squire's dog," said Alonzo. Tugger's eyes went wide and he grinned.

"Settle down kid, you don't have to be so violent. Don't bring my friends into this either, they have feelings too," said Tugger.

"Will you two shut up!" cried a third voice. The two knights looked over at the sleeping tom and Munkustrap rubbed his head. "Must you two keep going on and on? Some of us have throbbing headaches you know," he explained, rubbing his head. Alonzo shook is head.

"You probably shouldn't have been drinking your sorrows off last night," explained Alonzo. Munkustrap grumbled.

"It's none of your business." said Munkustrap. Alonzo shook his head again. He could tell Munkustrap cared for Princess Demeter a lot, but he questioned his devotion. When the two would have fights, Munkustrap would either drink heavily that night or find one of the wine wenches and have a go with them. Alonzo felt that if Munkustrap wanted to be dedicated to the Princess, he would try to make up with her than drinking away his problems or finding someone to hold him over to get over the pain. The Princess deserved someone better than that... she really did. Alonzo was brought out of his thoughts when Tugger said,

"Hey, I think we better get going. Its getting closer and closer to twilight and we need to get farther than we are at by nightfall. Lets go," Alonzo rolled his eyes, that was the first thing that Tugger had said that actually meant something to their quest. Alonzo got up and grabbed his horse. The three of them mounted their horses and made their way towards the forest.

Old Deuteronomy sat at his throne, his hand caressing his head. All that he could think of was his daughter and if she was okay or not. To his left was his eldest daughter, Bombalurina. Bombalurina had her head resting in her hand as well, a tissue in her hand as well. Ever since the knights left, she would go into small crying fits then stop then about thirty minutes later they would come along again. A white hand was upon her scarlet shoulder. Lady in Waiting Victoria stayed by the Princesses side, being one of Bombalurina's close friends... Another female stood next to Victoria, her chocolate fur sleek and brilliant. Her golden eyes was fixed upon the Princess. This was Cassandra, the her Lady in Waiting that was close to Princess Bombalurina. Cassandra was close to Demeter too, but she didn't have the bond that Victoria had with both sisters. Inside, Cassandra always envied Victoria, because she could get close to anyone, and she wasn't able to, no matter how hard she tried. She was brought out of her thoughts when she heard a poof and a cloud of smoke appeared. The rest of the people in the hall looked up and noticed a black cat with a white chest, tips of ears, forearms, one leg and tip of tail. He was dressed in dark blue robes, they almost matched the shine of his fur. His brilliant green eyes danced with happiness. He made his way up to King Deuteronomy and bowed.

"I know that you have been feeling down lately, so I felt, as your magician, to come and cheer you up!" he said.

"That is a wonderful idea, please, do your best Quaxo," said King Deuteronomy. Quaxo smiled and backed up. He started with pulling out three balls. He began to juggle them and soon switched from two hands to one hand juggling them. After a while of juggling them, every other ball began to disappear as he juggled. He tossed up the balls and they exploded into sparkles. There was a soft applause as he held out his arms and doves flew from his sleeves. A soft giggle was heard from one or two of the queens. He held up his hands and smiled.

"Now, I will make one of the lovely ladies in this room disappear. I am going to spin around and snap my fingers and the female with the flower in her hair will be my assistant." he explained. He began to spin and he snapped his fingers. He stopped spinning and opened his eyes. He watched as the females reached to their ears. Victoria's face began to blush as she pulled the flower from her ear. She looked at Bombalurina and she gave Victoria a heartful smile. Victoria walked over to Quaxo and smiled at him. A box appeared and Quaxo took Victoria's hand. He helped her into the box and closed it. He said a few words and tapped the box. He opened it up and tipped it over. He picked up the box and there was no one there. He showed the inside of the box to the court that was there and they clapped. Bombalurina began to clap louder, a few wow, how did he do that comments coming from her lips.

"Victoria, will you please step out?" called Quaxo. King Deuteronomy looked around but felt something touch his hand. He looked and smiled as he watched Victoria step out from behind the throne. Deuteronomy smiled and took her hand and kissed it gently. She returned the smile and she felt her other hand being grabbed and she felt herself being pulled to the front. Her and Quaxo took a bow and there was soft clapping. An elder orange looking cat waddled out and bowed before King Deuteronomy.

"Sir, lunch is ready," she said.

"Thank you Jennyanydots." he said as Jennyanydots turned and walked towards the kitchen. Deuteronomy clapped his hands and Bombalurina and Cassandra got up. "Shall we?" he said. He walked towards the dinning room, the two Queens behind him. Victoria began to follow but a hand stopped her. She was spun around and felt a body embrace her. She gave a little giggle and looked up at Quaxo.

"Don't you want lunch?" she asked. He shook his head and kissed her nose.

"No, I'm good," he explained. His hand played with the end of her long braided hair and smiled at her.

"Quaxo..." she said softly.

"Mhmm?"

"When are we going to tell them... about us?" she asked, her eyes a little worried. Quaxo smiled and kissed her cheek.

"Soon sweetheart, very soon," he purred. She smiled and pulled away from him. She turned to go to lunch but stopped.

"You sure you don't want lunch?" she asked as she turned around. She cracked a smile as she saw no one behind her. "Silly Tom..." She turned around and walked towards the dinning room. Cassandra stepped out from a corner and looked at her.

"Hello Cassandra," she said, a smile upon her face. It slowly faded as Cassandra just stared at her.

"What is going on between you two?" she asked, her eyes staring at her.

".. Nothing, nothing at all," said Victoria, her voice not stammering. She didn't want to give it away, not at that time. Cassandra didn't seem to like the answer, but she let it go.

"Alright... I'm watching you though.." she said. Cassandra turned around and headed towards the dinning area. She knew Victoria was lying, but that wasn't going to stop her. She was going to get close to the magician, she knew that they would be right for each other, and not him and Victoria.

The sun was beginning to set on the land and everything was beginning to look orange. The wind played with Rumpleteazer's hair as she looked out across the land on her balcony. She sighed softly as she leaned against the railing of her balcony. She missed her mother and her father and she wished they were still alive. She was tired of being treated as a servant, a prisoner instead of a princess. She sighed softly.

"Hello!" cried a voice. A face appeared in front of hers and she screamed, falling backwards. The voice began to laugh and Rumpleteazer got a better look at the Tom. She cracked a smile.

"Mungojerrie..." she said, a giggle escaping her lips. "How did you do that?" she asked. Mungojerrie climbed over the railing and helped her up.

"I climbed up from the window under your balcony... I also practiced several times the past couple of nights... I didn't want to make a fool of myself in front of you," he explained, his cheeky grin spreading across his face. His eyes looked curious as he watched as teas began to form in Rumpleteazer's eyes.

"Jerrie..." she said softly, falling into Mungojerrie and wrapping her arms around him. Mungojerrie smiled, wrapping his arms around her.

"Princess.." Bam! Mungojerrie looked at his arm where he had been his and looked at Rumpleteazer.

"I told you, don't call me Princess." she said, a stern look upon her face.

"Yes... Princess," said Mungojerrie. The stern look didn't last long and the two began to laugh loudly. A horn stopped their laughing and a voice calling out "Prince Macavity has returned!" snapped them out of their daze. Macavity... Mungojerrie broke away from Rumpleteazer, picking a few things he had dropped when he climbed over the balcony and shoved it under his clothes. Macavity had forbidden him from seeing Rumpleteazer, and he didn't want to be caught now. The two of them raced to the door of Rumpleteazer's room and Mungojerrie looked back at her.

"Hurry," she whispered. He grabbed Rumpleteazer and brought her close to him. His head inched towards hers, Rumpleteazer closing her eyes. The next moment she felt herself standing there alone and she opened her eyes. She looked out her opened door and noticed Mungojerrie was no where to be seen... He did run fast. She leaned against the door frame and sighed. She did wish he would kiss her... he had never done it before...

The sun was almost gone when Macavity reached the front of the castle. Demeter was asleep, her body limp against Macavity's. Macavity pulled on the reigns and his horse bobbed his head. People began to circle around Macavity, the sight of Demeter making them curious. Macavity placed his hand upon Demeter's shoulder and gave it a small shake. Demeter let out a soft groan and opened her eyes. Her eyes blinked and came into focus. She sat up straight and looked around her. There were several elder cats around her, their fur gray and sad looking. They scared her, especially their sunken eyes. Macavity smiled as he watched a shabby looking cat approach him. The cat's red eyes glowed, a smile upon his face. Macavity returned the smile.

"Welcome back Lord Macavity," said the elder cat, his voice tired.

"It's nice to see you outside while the sun is still out Fireforfiddle." commented Macavity, giving a hearty laugh as he slid off the horse. Demeter looked at Fireforfiddle. That was the same Fireforfiddle that gave her father such a hard time years ago... Fireforfiddle's eyes caught Demeter's and he stared into them. Demeter began to become uneasy and scared. She wiggled in the saddle until she felt a hand upon hers. She looked and noticed it was Macavity. He helped her down from the horse and gave the reigns to a young boy.

"Take him back to the stables," said Macavity, patting the young kid upon the head. Demeter watched him and found herself being lead into the castle.

Inside the castle was cold, cold like Macavity's eyes. Demeter felt like she'd never be happy again as they walked through the castle. She didn't know where he was leading her and she didn't care... she just hoped it would be able to make her happy. They stopped suddenly at a door and Macavity opened it. As they entered, a soft orange glow greeted her. The room was warm and dressed in red and golden trimmings. The curtains were drawn back and the last sliver of sunlight vanished and the moon began to take over. Macavity watched as Demeter explored the room and he gave a small smile.

"I will be back to take you to dinner... wait for me," he said and turned his back to her and left. Demeter turned around and watched him leave. Her eyes began to get tears in them and she threw herself down on her bed. Soft sobs began to escape her mouth. She wanted to go home... she wanted to be near her father, her sister, and most of all, Munkustrap. A soft knock came upon her door. Demeter looked up, wiping the tears from her eyes.

"Go away!" she shouted. She sat up straight on her bed and looked out towards the window. She watched as an owl flew past, giving a hoot. How she wished she could be an owl right then. She heard a soft creek and she looked behind her. The door to her room opened slowly, and a female poked her head around the door. Demeter looked at her. She was very pretty... but...

"Were you kidnapped and are being held in this horrible place too?" she asked the new queen. The queen shook her head.

"No... I live here unfortunately. I'm Princess Rumpleteazer," said the queen. Demeter's eyes went wide and flew towards the Princess. She wrapped her arms around her waist and cried into Rumpleteazer's chest. Rumpleteazer's eyes went wide for a second, but then turned gentle. She understood... She wrapped her arms around the crying Queen and placed her head upon hers. She understood too well.

"Excuse me?" said Mistoffelees, looking up from petting his crow. Macavity smiled.

"You heard me Mistoffelees, I said I want you to make Demeter fall in love with me," explained Macavity. "I don't have time to win her over... and she won't be won over by me," he explained, taking a seat on Mistoffelees' chair near the window. Mistoffelees ran a hand through his hair and shook his head.

"That goes against everything I learned Sire, it goes against my morals," Macavity glared at Mistoffelees and grabbed him by his robes.

"Do you dare talk back to me? I could throw you out on your ass if you wish," hissed Macavity. Mistoffelees gulped and shook his head.

"No sire, I will do as you wish..." Mistoffelees let out a sigh when he was released from Macavity's grip.

"Dinner." and with that Macavity was gone. Mistoffelees shook his head and turned to his crow.

"This isn't going to work very well..." he muttered, petting his friend on the head. "Not at all."

"Did you have a small nap my sweetheart?" asked Macavity as he took a drink from his goblet. Macavity sat his cup down and glanced at it. A young girl was filling up his glass.

"Leave it be Olivia," he hissed. Olivia squeaked and nodded, hurrying back to the kitchen. Macavity turned his attention back to Demeter, who was just sitting there, looking at her goblet. She refused to speak to him, she just wanted to go home. How could she make conversation with a man who kidnapped her and wants her to be his? That wasn't very romantic at all, and went against the Prince Charming tale that she was told since she was little. Macavity gave a soft growl and cleared his throat.

"Summer! Bring out meals," bellowed Macavity. A small brown female nodded and ran off towards the kitchen.

Summer was taken by surprise when she felt someone grab her wrist. She looked at her captured wrist then up at the owner of the hand.

"Magician.." she said softly. Mistoffelees put a finger up to his lips and handed her a vile. She looked at it, noticing little flakes inside.

"What is this?" she asked, her mind beginning to wonder.

"Put that on Princess Demeter's meal," he said, letting go of her wrist.

"Why?" she asked. Mistoffelees rolled his eyes. Why couldn't the scurry maids just do as they were told. Mistoffelees coughed and turned to Summer. He gave a smile and slowly backed her up against the wall. She looked at him, her heart beginning to pound. She felt his breath on her neck and she let out a whimper.

"You do as you're told," he purred, nipping at her ear. Her knees began to wobble and she let out a soft whimper.

"Yes sir," she said, her voice tiny and breathy. Mistoffelees pulled away and straightened his robes. He didn't like doing that, but sometimes making the maids excited made them do as they were told. Summer ran towards the meals and sprinkled the vile into Demeter's food.

"Olivia, come and get Prince Macavity's plate," shouted Summer. Olivia waddled over to them and grabbed the food.

In the dining hall, it was quiet. Macavity tapped his claws on the table. Where are those stupid girls? If they are doing this to make me mad... they will soon be missing their hands and they will be useless... As his thought finished, he saw food in front of him. He smiled and nodded at the two girls.

"Thank you," he said. The two ate in silence. Macavity kept his eye on Demeter, hoping the magician did as he was told. Demeter put her fork down, her head felt funny. She slowly got up and she swayed a bit.

"I think... I need sleep..." she said and turned to walk back to her room. Macavity pushed away from the table and was in tow behind Demeter.

Demeter walked down the hallway and finally found her room. She opened the door and walked in. She stood about five feet into her room, rubbing her head. I forgot to close the door... She turned around and stopped. Macavity stood there, a smile upon his face as he close the door.

"What are yo..." she began, but her eyebrows pushed together. Her stomach felt funny. She put her hand upon her stomach and looked at it. She looked back up at Macavity and her eyes went wide. She felt weird... she felt... attracted towards the evil Prince. Macavity advanced upon her and put his hand upon Demeter's waist and pulled her to him. He brought his lips upon hers and his other hand caressed her head. Demeter closed her eyes but opened them back and pulled away.

"Macavity.." she said, but she didn't want to stop. She felt herself push herself and capture his mouth with hers. She felt a soft purr vibrate from Macavity's throat. Macavity pulled away and smiled.

"Demeter..." he purred and the two fell onto the bed.

The moon was high in the ebony sky, basking everything in silver. A fire was blazing and two people sat around the fire. Carbucketty poked at the fire, watching sparks fly up. Jemima watched the fire. It was cold out, and she felt extremely cold, the fire not helping her at all. She gave a shiver but felt something drape over her shoulders. She looked up, Tumblebrutus looking down at her. She gave a small smile and looked away. Carbucketty threw his stick to the side and looked at Tumblebrutus.

"When are we going to get to our destination?" asked Carbucketty, leaning back. Tumblebrutus smiled and sat down next to Jemima.

"Late tomorrow," he said. Jemima let out a small sigh. Tumblebrutus put his hand upon Jemima's shoulder and rubbed it gently.

"Don't worry Miss Jemima, we'll soon get you back to the castle and find you somewhere to stay." said Tumblebrutus gently. Jemima looked over at him.

"I hope you're right..." she whispered, looking up at the moon.

Alonzo looked at the moon and sighed. The fire flickered weakly as Tugger and Munkustrap laid sound asleep on either side of Alonzo. Alonzo took in a deep breath of the cold air and let it out. Please... Princess Demeter, be safe. If you are hurt... who knows what will happen... Be safe... for the sake of the kingdom... be safe...

A/N: Sorry... it took so long to bring this story back up but I have been away and doing other things and I wrote on this periodically throughout the years... and I'm trying to get my bum back into this story, I really am... I hope you enjoy it so far, and I know the chapters are long but there is a lot to put in each chapter, I think.