Young Atrus is a wanderer. He blends in as a normal citizen. His short blonde hair is neatly parted to the right. His blue eyes wander around at all the passing sales people. Just then he notices a woman, with long blonde hair and bright blue eyes, walking through the market to the castle.
Her name is Tanya. She is coming back from her morning stroll in the nearby woods called The Unicorn. As she walks by, she is shoved into Atrus, almost knocking him down.
"Whoa, hold on," Atrus says, catching himself on a nearby rope.
"Sorry, it was an accident sir," Tanya replies, looking away.
"No need to apologize, I saw what that guy did."
"Oh, well I have to get home," she says hurrying off.
"Hey wait, where do you live? I'll come and visit," Atrus yelled as she ran toward the castle.
"I wonder why she was going towards the castle? Maybe she lives there. Then I will visit her there. But what if she is a servant? What would the king say?" he thinks.
His curiosity for her overpowers his fear and he marchers right up to the door and knocks.
"State your name and business," booms a voice.
"Crap, I didn't get her name. I hope she is a princess and an the only one at that!" he thinks pulling his courage together.
"I am Atrus and here to see the princess," he boosts.
"Whhhhhhyyyyyyyy?!" yells the guard.
Atrus is scared to the bone now and he starts to shudder.
"Good enough, you may come in."
When the door opens, there sits a little guy with a megaphone.
"This way please," he says as loud as he can without the megaphone.
He leads the wanderer to the princess's room. By this time Atrus is not shuddering but still nervous. When they reach her room, he wants to turn back. He almost does when the guard starts to open the door. A maid rushes out of the room scaring Atrus but not enough for him to run. The guard examines the room then returns to Atrus's side.
In response to a signal from the guard, the dwarf once again turned to Atrus, "She is not here. She could be in the thrown room. You must wait here until I find her." He began ushering Atrus through the door into the hall.
"No thanks, I will just return at a later time," Atrus replies disappointed.
"James, who is this?" calls a femine voice from behind the two men.
The dwarf, James, turns to see the princess. Atrus looks up in hope to see the princess.
"This is Atrus, my lady," calls James. "He is here to see you on market matter."
"Oh, have him go to my room then. I will be right in," she replies turning her back.
When Atrus looks upon her he marvels at her white silken gown inbedded with pearls and diamonds. Before he has a chance to say something the dwarf pushes him into Tanya's room and slams the door.
After a few minutes the door creaks open and the princess comes in. She shuts the door and heads to her bed. She looks around the room as if something was missing. She finally notices Atrus near the balcony and waves a hand to tell him sit down. When he settles down, Tanya cries out and jumps up.
"It's you, the weird man in the market. Why are you here?" she screams.
"Yes, and I am here because of you," he replies standing up to help settle her down.
"Why then, did you say you were here on market matters?" she asked settling down again on her bed.
"It was just an excuse to see you. I am not even from around here." he replies heading back to the balcony.
"What brings you to Vontour?" Tanya says following his moves.
"It was just on my way, I guess," he says looking out over the balcony at the Sea of Sons.
"I am only a wanderer. You seem to be probing me deeply as if you I was was a spy," he says staring her down.
"I apologize for that. I have never had a real visitor come on his own behalf," she says getting up to join him.
"Oh, well I have never met anyone from a royal family that ventures through their own city like you," he turns on that comment and heads for the door. "I will leave you now. I must be on my way."
"Wait, can we go for a walk? I need to get out of this place."
He turns astonished. "I have just meet you!"
"I see nothing wrong with that. My eyes tell me that you are fond of me. The only thing is though, is that I am fond of you too."
"Well then, if you really want to go for a walk you might just want to change," he said waving his hands to point out the dress.
She looks down and back up. Her face blushed from the thought of taking a walk with the dress on.
"I will just wait outside," Atrus explained.
"O.K. It will only take me a minute to change."
"No problem," he replies walking to the door.
As he opens the door he hopes that it will take just a minute instead of an hour. He closes the door and sits nearby on a stool. Suddenly it starts to go down.
"What is this!" he exclaims when he cannot see the princess's door any longer.
It jerks to a stop in the middle of the darkness of the basement. Atrus stands up and tries to look around.
"Now how do I get back up?" he asked looking up through the hole.
With a start the stool elevator starts back up. Atrus rocks back on his heals startled.
"No, I missed it. Now I will be lost forever."
He hears a rumbling noise of minuter later. He looks up the hole and sees light again. The elevator comes back down with the princess on it. She hops off and hugs Atrus.
"When I didn't see you I thought you might have found my secret elevator by mistake," she exclaims backing away. "Go up elevator," she commands. It automatically does as if it were real.
She lead him around in the tunnels that made up the basement. After about ten minutes they finally walked out of the last tunnel taking in deep breathes of fresh sea air outside. Atrus turned back to look at the castle rising above them.
"Princess, your castle looks prettier thn the rest of the castles in this land," he comments.
"Thanks, I....we....try to keep it that way. By the way, my name is Tanya. I am sorry I didn't tell you."
"That's O.K. Tanya......what a pretty name. I think there is a new show going on in the Heart Court. Would you like to go see it?" he asked.
"Sure, lets go," she answered.
The couple headed down Heart Lane which is crowded with vender and buyers. They soon hear the cry of a nearby apple seller.
"Apples, free apples," cried a chubby man with a white apron.
"I will take one," yelled Atrus raising his hands to get the man's attention.
The man sees him and throws it to him. "It is on the house, lad."
When Atrus caught the apple he took out a dagger and carved a heart into the apple and handed it to Tanya. He said, "Do you believe in love at first sight?"
She replied, "Not really" and looked away. But Artus took her hand and placed the apple in her palm.
She saw the heart and she fell in love with Atrus's kindness. She made an innocent gesture. "What is the heart for?"
"My love for you," he said looking deeply into Tanya's bright blue eyes.
"I am so glad," she whispered.
"Why?" asked Atrus looking puzzled.
"Because I lied. I do believe in love at first sight...Because I love you," she replied.
Last Updated: 5/3/97