- Challenge One: Worth More than Gold -

Theme: Family, Romance, Hurt/Comfort (A little bit)

Pairing: LucyxSting (Sticy)

Word Count: 1 752

"No!" The blonde screamed, fighting back the tears from frustration. "Why? I've only just turned sixteen!"

Lucy screamed inside her head, she had the urge to just rip everything up and kick and damage everything in this house. She was so sick of this, months before she had turned sixteen her father had already told her she was to be engaged to a rich stranger, but now it was happening. She was going to meet the person she was going to live with for the rest of her life - Someone she didn't even talk to, yet alone knew.

"Because you are a Heartfilia and you are to be the heiress of my company." The man replied, his back turned away from his daughter, who's face was a blotchy red from screaming.

"I refuse!" She shouted, stomping her foot and turning on her heel to storm out of the room.

"LUCY." He boomed, irately "You will do what I say, or you are not my daughter!"

The blonde froze in her tracks, the tears now fully rushing down her face. She tried forcing her voice out to say 'fine', but her throat was clenched up and if she let anything audible, it would only be the sobs which she was currently muffling and a shaky word. Realising this, she bit her lip and bolted for the door, slamming it on her way out of her father's office. Removing her heels, she dashed down the hallways, getting worried looks from her maids - her dear friends that she saw everyday.

She ran down the stairs and quickly opened the door, dashing out of the mansion as fast as she could and out of the courtyard to the nearby town. Her golden hair whipped her face as it mixed with the tears and sweat, she tripped on her rose coloured ball gown once or twice, almost falling face first but not caring about anything or anyone who she was catching attention from. There were murmurs in the street as they saw the extravagantly dressed girl running through the roads.

Finally she came to a stop, just near a florist, where she saw a bouquet of lilies - her deceased mother's favourite flower. She brought her hand up to her eyes, and dropped to her knees, sobbing as she thought about her mum, her best friend. It had only been a year since she had passed and her life had already gone so wrong. So horribly wrong.

Metres away, unbeknownst to the blonde, a carriage came to a halt and a suited man came out.

"Excuse me, have you seen a young, blonde male come this way?" he questioned.

She quickly used her thumbs to brush away any excess tears and glanced at him, hiding her face, which was puffy from the tears. "I'm sincerely sorry, but no, I haven't." she croaked, bowing.

"Oh, okay… Are you alright, Miss?" he questioned.

"I'm fine, thank you." she replied, forcing a smile at him. He looked at her in curiousity, wondering why she was dressed in a ball gown of all things. He was sure the people of this town didn't have enough to afford something like that. Nonetheless, he brushed it off and thanked her before approaching another person who was nearby.

She tucked her hair behind her ear and fixed it up. Picking up the bouquet of lilies, she had the intention of going and paying for it, but realising she had no money on her, she sighed and placed it back onto the rack. She contemplated whether to go visit her mother's grave or not, judging from the fact that if she did, she'd have to face that man whom was called her 'father', since the grave was on the land.

The blonde let out an even bigger sigh. She didn't plan for anything, it was just the rush of adrenaline she had gotten when she was so angry. She wasn't thinking, and now she didn't know what else to do apart from going back there. Clenching her hand around the lamp post, she took a step forward. She was definitely not going back now. Maybe later, but she didn't have the guts to face him yet.

Her legs brought her throughout the roads, taking random turns. After what she estimated had been 20 minutes, she felt in a much better mood, although whenever she thought about what happened, she cringed a little and a small lump formed in her throat and at the bottom of her chest before she quickly brushed it off.

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Lucy turned around to see the carriage that had come behind her previously. 'Again?'she wondered. She would've thought that they had already found the person they were looking for. But then again, this town seems like it would've had a lot of alleys that someone could hide. Suddenly it hit her. First of all, they were in a carriage, and the man who had approached her earlier was in a suit. Plus, they were looking for a young male. Now that was odd. The chance that another business man had just happened to come into this town with a young man was slim. Too slim.

So he was the one she was going to be engaged to. Must have run away the moment he got the chance. Lucy let out a laugh, "What do you know, he doesn't want to be engaged to a complete stranger either!" she muttered under her breath.

She felt a tap on her shoulder and turned around, to see the man in the suit again, "Excuse me miss, sorry to bother you again, but have you seen the young blonde man pass by?" he asked with a friendly smile.

Lucy returned the smile, "Very sorry, but no I have not."

"Ah, I see, thank you," he said, quickly looking around before climbing back into the carriage with a dispirited look.

She spun her body 180 degrees, before seeing a figure move in the alley. Raising eyebrow, she turned her body towards it. She stretched out her arm and gripped on the the brick wall tightly before taking a step forward.

"Who's… There?" she called.

No response. "Hello?" she called again.

Once again, no response.

'One more time,' she thought. "I know there's someone there!"

She saw a small shadow behind the bins, "I see you! Why are you hiding there?" she shouted. Slowly, she saw the shadow getting larger, before she saw a person, at least a head taller than her. She examined him, 'Blonde. He's blonde. And he doesn't look older than twenty… Maybe he's…?'

She felt the man's stare on her and fidgeted under it. "U-um…" she stuttered, taking a step back.

The blonde in the alley took a few steps towards the girl in front of him, "That person who just approached you… Don't tell him you saw me, okay?"

Lucy looked up, "You're…"

"Yes, I am. Don't say anything okay?" He cut her off.

"No, I mean… You," she bit her lip, "Never mind."

The blonde in front of her inspected her, he realised she was wearing an expensive looking dress that looked like it had been damaged and slightly torn near the bottom. Her eyes looked puffy and red, obviously she had been crying. "You're wearing a gown." He stated.

She nodded in reply.

"You... Are you possibly the one I'm supposed to be engaged to?"

Lucy looked up at him. "Probably."

He chuckled. "Well I guess this makes two of us, huh? Running away from our parents."

She laughed in response "I guess so," Lucy paused, "So, what do we do?"

"About what?"

"About the engagement, silly." She laughed.

"Oh, that." He responded, ruffling his hair "I don't think we can do anything about it. I've already tried."

Lucy looked down, it felt so odd that the person she was meant to be engaged to was standing right in front of her, except it wasn't in front of her father, and they weren't getting engaged. She couldn't do anything about it either.

"What are we doing here then? If we can't do anything about it..." She trailed off.

"Hah, who knows." He replied, "At least I know you now, and I know that it's not some snobby girl."

"Agreed. I wasn't exactly too keen on being engaged to someone I had never met before and was probably very materialistic." Lucy responded. "What's your name anyway?"

"Sting. Last name is Eucliffe" He answered. "Yours?"

"Lucy Heartfilia." She replied. "I've never heard of a 'Eucliffe' Company before though…"

"It's the C&E Enterprise. We're partnered with the Cheney's."

"Oh, that one." Lucy looked at the sky. She had been here far longer than she had realised. The sun had almost fully set, and she didn't see anymore people on the streets apart from the nearing carriage for the third time. She quickly dashed into the shadows and pushed Sting behind the bin.

"Your parents' carriage is coming." she informed him. "Do you want to go with them? I can meet you there."

Sting hesitated for a minute. He looked down at the girl standing in front of him. 'Maybe it won't be so bad.'

"You go first. I'll catch up later." He responded, pushing away the blonde by the shoulders.

She looked up at him, "Alright. See you there." Lucy walked out of the alley, looking around to find the hill on which her mansion was and dashing back.


TIMESKIP*

It was the day before their wedding. Although it was an arranged marriage, it seemed like they were meant.

"Hey, Sting," the blonde said, playing with the lily in front of her. "If this wasn't arranged, do you think you would've married me?"

The male stopped in his tracks, "If I had met you, of course I would have."

"Why? The reason our parents made us marry was because of the money."

"Who cares about the money, you're worth more than that." he responded, "Besides, where were we both when we first met? Running away from our parents."

"True," She giggled, plucking the flower from the bush and standing back up. "Come on, I'll bring you to meet my mother."

Sting followed the smiling blonde, who was doing a funny cross between a walk and a skip towards her mother's grave.


A/N: Oh my gosh the ending was so freaking cheesy! Sorry! Hahaha.

Eh, hope you liked it anyway, this is part of the 10 theme challenge, next challenge is 'Don't Go Away' so expect something cheesier ahah...