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Chapter Four

The Stabbington brothers were sitting in their cell, like they had been for the last few months.  The older one, Brutus, was seething to his younger brother, Tobias, about Flynn Rider.  Again.
“It’s his fault we’re in here.  I knew we never should have worked with him.”  His brother looked at him with his one good eye.  “Yeah, rub it in.  You were the first one to say we can’t trust him.  Well, you were right.  We should have found someone else to help us get that crown.  Then we’d be living it up.
“He has it all now, doesn’t he?”  Tobias cocked his eyebrow, agreeing with Brutus.  “The jerk has a castle and treasure.  He even has that girl with the magic hair and she’s a princess two-boot.”  His brother cocked his head at him.  “Oh, sure she doesn’t have it now, but he’s still got more than we got.”  He kicked the urine bucket and cursed.  Tobias crossed his arms.  “You’re bringing up their wedding?  Yeah, fine, it was nice, and it was a very nice gesture that he invited us, but you notice he specifically had flowers in the chapel that we were allergic to.  There’s no way I would have cried at his wedding.”  His brother frowned at him.  “I don’t care if that girl did pick the flowers, they both conspired against us.
“Look at what he’s got now.  He literally has everything a thief ever works for.  What do we got?  A cage, two meals of slop not even fit for rabid dogs, and one wooden bed.  Speaking of which, it’s my turn tonight.  
“Just what was he trying to gain, having the king not hang us?”  Tobias narrowed his eye.  “You’re right.  While Flynn Rider is living it up, laughing at us, we’re living in this prison.  We don’t have a way out.  He’s torturing us by making us live like this while he gorges on the riches we originally stole together.  Half of that should be ours.  Well, we’ll fix that.  We’re gonna get back at him.  We’ll find a way to get out and when we do, we’ll kill him.” His brother grinned at him, nodding.  “And we’ll raid the castle too.”
There was a sudden commotion on the other side of the door of the prison cells.  The Stabbingting brothers heard shouts and yells and the ringing of metal as it crashed against the walls and floor.  The brothers got to their feet, pressing their faces into the bars, trying to see what was happening.  There was a last howl of a guard as he obviously, desperately attacked the apparent intruder.  There was a grunt and a clank of a helmet as it hit the floor.  Moaning could be heard from behind the door as the men felt their defeat.  The door latch clicked and it swung slowly open, revealing the frame of a woman standing in the doorway.
She walked down the hall of cells, leaving the guards she had just single handedly beaten behind her.  Her long curly black hair bounced as she walked, an accessory to frame her pointed face.  Her blue eyes were narrow, with long eyelashes.  She dressed a bit flamboyantly for someone who was breaking into a prison.  She wore a red jacket that looked to be just a bit too tight around her chest.  Tight fitting brown pants were tucked into knee high lace up boots.  As she walked, swaying her hips, she twirled a simple staff in her hand.  She stopped in front of the Stabbington brothers.
“My, such an elaborate plan you have.  Don’t you think that’s a little brutish though?  Killing him, I mean.”  The woman cocked an eyebrow at them.  “Yes, it has a nice ring to it, but so does, oh, I don’t know, torturing him.”
“Who are you?”  
The woman smiled.
“Just an old friend of Flynn Rider and I heard he’s in the area, in fact in this very proximity.  Just upstairs, right?  In the palace.  I thought it might be fun to visit him and his new little wife too.  She’s a princess, isn’t she?”
“You know Rider.”
“Knew Rider.  And guess what; I loathe him just as much as you do and so do a lot of my new friends.  See, they knew Rider too and they hate him, just like you and me.”  She smiled coyly at the two brothers.  “So here’s the ultimatum, boys, short and sweet; I get you out of here and you can be part of my perfect little plan.”
The brothers glanced at one another.  
“Why do you need our help?”
“I don’t need your help, I want your help.  I could easily execute this scheme myself, but why not have a few friends tag along?  The more, the merrier.”  The brothers said nothing.  “What?  You’re not interested?  Or, do you think you can get out of here yourself, because you seem really successful with that.”
“How can we trust you?  The last woman who promised us Flynn Rider’s head got us locked up in here.”
“Well, personally, even if I do betray you, don’t you have a better chance out here than in there?  And if you suspect me, you’ll be careful, won’t you?  It’s your choice: rot in jail for the rest of your lives or ruin Flynn Rider’s life.  Personally, I’d pick choice B.”  The woman dangled the offer in front of the Stabbington brothers.  It didn’t take long for them to make their decision.  The woman had them hook, line, and sinker.
“Just what is your plan for Flynn Rider?”
“Complete and total annihilation.”
Chapter Three

Rapunzel did not like how late it had gotten.  It was many hours past sundown and the castle corridors were lit by torch and candle light. She hurried down the halls to her and Eugene’s rooms.  She hoped he was still awake.  He’d been so disappointed when they couldn’t spend the rest of the day together.  She reached their rooms and opened the door.
“Eugene, I’m back.”  She scanned the room for him and saw his form sitting in a chair in front of a smoldering fire.  She walked over to him.  “Eugene?”  She looked at him.  He was fast asleep, his head cocked to the side with his mouth open slightly.  His arms were crossed, like he had been brooding about something before he drifted off.  
Rapunzel had to smile.  He looked so perfect sleeping, even with the bit of drool that was building in his mouth.  His face was relaxed and innocent to the happenings of the world.
Rapunzel felt so bad about abandoning him, not once, but twice in the same day.  She wanted to make it up to him, but she didn’t really want to wake him up; she liked the way he looked when he slept.  However, sleeping in a chair probably wasn’t the best position to be in for the night.  She should wake him up.  She put her hand out to touch his face, but there was a knock on the door.  Rapunzel looked from it, back to Eugene.  He grunted and settled deeper into the chair.  Rapunzel hurried to the door before the person on the other side could knock again.  She opened it quietly.
It was Gerald.
“Good night, Princess.  So sorry to disturb you this late, but,” Gerald held up an envelope, “another letter was received for Eugene.”  Rapunzel looked down at it.  It said “Flynn Rider.”
“Thank you.”  Rapunzel smiled as she took the letter, hoping that would distract Gerald from how uneasy the note made her.  “I’ll make sure that Eugene gets it.  Good night.”
“Good night, Princess.”  Rapunzel closed the door and stared down at the envelope.  She looked across the room at Eugene.  He was still asleep.  Rapunzel sighed.  She wanted to ask Eugene about the letter from earlier that day.  She glanced back down at the letter.  She bit her lip.  She knew Eugene wasn’t going to tell her about the letter.  She ripped the envelope open and pulled out the piece of paper inside.  She read the one line.
She’s a pretty little princess.
Rapunzel stared quizzically at the sentence, wondering exactly what it meant.  Why would someone write it?  And why would they send it to Eugene addressed as “Flynn Rider?”  Was someone watching them?  Her?  Rapunzel glanced at the windows and crossed the room to close the curtains.  She then went back over to the fireplace and stoked the fire.  She looked at the letter one last time and threw it into the flames.  She watched it burn, a pit settling in her stomach.  She shivered.
Rapunzel turned around and looked at Eugene.  He hadn’t moved from earlier.  Even though his face was innocent in sleep, she knew he was hiding something from her.  The letter from that morning for instance.  It had been addressed to “Flynn Rider” as well.  There was something going on that he didn’t want her to know about.  Rapunzel sighed and shook her head.  She knew Eugene wasn’t going to tell her.  It was one of the only things about him she found irritating.  She plopped down on the floor and stared into the fire.  The letter was now just a little smoldering ember, but it certainly wasn’t going to be forgotten soon.
Rapunzel leaned back and accidentally hit Eugene’s legs.  He startled and woke up.  He looked groggily around and saw Rapunzel looking up at him on the floor.
“Rapunzel?”
“I didn’t mean to wake you.”
“No, no, it’s fine.”  He stretched.  “Come here.”  Eugene put his hand out to Rapunzel.  She stood up and he pulled her down into his lap.  He kissed her sweetly.  “How was the second meeting?”
“Just like the first one; boring.”
“Mm.  It would have been more exciting with me there.”
“I’m sure.”  Rapunzel’s hand toyed with Eugene’s hair.  She snuggled into his lap.  She suddenly realized how tired she was.  She had had such a long day.  “Hey, Eugene?”
“Hm?”
“Pleasant dreams.”
Eugene looked down at her, but her eyes were already closed.  Within seconds, Rapunzel was fast asleep.  It was almost bittersweet to look at her sleeping face.  After having so little time to themselves that day, Eugene had been hoping to have Rapunzel all to himself in the evening. Yet, watching her sleep, Eugene decided that was a good way to spend time together as well.  He hugged Rapunzel closer, knowing that nothing and no one could ever take her away from him.
Chapter Two

Eugene sat moping on the edge of the fountain in the center of the village.  He really shouldn’t have gotten his hopes up; Rapunzel was a princess, a future queen, and she had been gone for a whole month.  The king and queen probably had a lot to discuss with her.
“And of course I’m not privy to the conversation,” he grumbled.
It was an absolutely lovely day, but it had darkened greatly for Eugene, all because he couldn’t spend it with Rapunzel.  Eugene knew he was selfish; he wanted Rapunzel all to himself.  When it was just the two of them, it was just so simple, and there weren’t disapproving eyes.  He saw them everywhere: servants, gentry, dignitaries, guards, guards especially.  It was just nice to not have that scrutinizing atmosphere.  Of course, he could be with Max or Pascal, even the king and queen, and not feel judged, but Rapunzel was his wife.  He had a right to be alone with her.  Though, Eugene wasn’t so selfish that he was going to keep their majesties from their daughter.  Eugene had actually implored Rapunzel that she try to spend as much time with her parents as possible, which she did, but it was hard on the both of them.  Despite how much they liked being with their family and friends, Eugene and Rapunzel preferred being with each other the best.  Still, despite all the reasons and excuses, Eugene often thought about running away and taking Rapunzel with.  He wondered how their lives would be different if they hadn’t come to the palace after leaving the tower.
Eugene was pulled out of his sour brooding by a large group of children.
“Eugene!  You’re back.”
“Why were you gone so long?”
“Him and the princess were on their honeymoon.”
“I thought the moon was made of cheese.”  The children all jabbered together, wanting Eugene’s attention at the same time.
“Eugene, come play with us!”
“No, tell us story!”
“Show us how to climb buildings!”
Eugene didn’t mind playing with the children.  When he’d run away from the orphanage, the only thing he missed were the other kids and being like a big brother to them.  Eugene loved children and he missed loving them.  
“You little ragamuffins, come here.”  Eugene scooped some of the kids into his arms.  They all began to climb on him.
Some of the children’s parents and other adults were standing around, watching Eugene play with them.  Some smiled, others looked blankly, thinking, that, maybe if Flynn Rider played with children and actually had fun with them, maybe he wasn’t as bad as he had been.  Eugene didn’t know it, but some of the villagers saw him in a better light just by how he cared for the children of the village, orphan or not.
From underneath the tangle of kids, Eugene laughed, surrendering to them.  They still clung to him, gleefully chanting that he was their prisoner.  Eugene chuckled and opened his eyes.  He was greeted by the figure of Rapunzel standing over him.  He jumped up, the children still clinging to him.
“Hi,” he said with a broad grin.  “I thought you were in a meeting with your parents.”
“Oh, they didn’t want to talk for long.  Which is fortunate for us,” Rapunzel produced a basket from behind her back, “because I thought we could go for a picnic out in the bay.”
“Oh, really?”
“Mm-hm, since you were so insistent that we spend time together today.”
“Not so much as insistent as demanding.”  Eugene bent down to kiss Rapunzel, but suddenly remembered the gaggle of children still clamped onto him.  He also noticed how they were all staring at them.  Rapunzel noticed too.
“Oh, hello,” she said, stooping down to them.
“Princess, did you miss us when you went to the moon?”
“Honeymoon.”
“Of course I missed you,” Rapunzel said, tucking hair back behind her ear.
“Will you play with us and Eugene?”
“Oh, we’d love to,” Rapunzel said, slipping her arm in with Eugene’s, who had finally gotten the last child off, “but we have other plans today, so it will have to be another time.”  The children sounded their glum dismay.
Eugene and Rapunzel said good-bye to the children and strolled down to the docks.
“What did your parents want to talk about,” Eugene asked.
“Only things that would bore you.”
Eugene frowned.  “How do you know they would bore me?”
“Because they bored me.”
At the docks, they took a boat and Eugene rowed them out quiet a distance from the shore.  Being out on the water was peaceful.  Just floating and talking and munching their lunch was nice and the setting was so serene.  They watched the fishermen go about their day of labors and the merchants’ ships coming into harbor.  After they’d eaten, they settled down in the bottom of the boat to watch the clouds.   Rapunzel snuggled up next to Eugene, using his chest as a pillow.  They saw clouds that just looked like clouds and others that looked like people and things.  Eugene enthusiastically spun stories about the clouds that looked like people.  He said they were on an epic quest, looking for the mystic rod of lighting so that they could create a thunder storm.  Eugene was good at telling stories and Rapunzel loved listening to his voice roll on.
By the time the couple was done looking at clouds and had rowed back to the docks and walked back up to the palace, it was late afternoon.  As soon as they entered the doors, servants came flocking to them.
“Princess, your parents wish an audience with you.  They have something very important to speak with you about.”
“What?  But they just talked to me this morning.”
“They wish to speak with you again.”
“What about Eugene?”  The servants glanced from Rapunzel to Eugene and back.  He tried not to notice
“It is a matter of state and they did not specify a needed presence of Sir Eugene.”
“Oh.”  Rapunzel looked from the head servant to her husband.  She felt hurt that her parents weren’t allowing Eugene to take part in topics of government and politics.  They accepted him enough to let her marry him; why couldn’t they accept him on other matters?
Eugene smiled at her.
“You better get going, your majesty.  I’ll read a book or something, go see Max.  That sort of thing.”
“Okay,” she said slowly.  
Eugene watched as Rapunzel was lead off by the gaggle of servants.  His heart drooped a bit.  The king and queen had brought him into their home and even their hearts.  They had trusted their only daughter with him and forgave him for all his past sins, but Eugene knew it was wishful thinking for the king and queen to actually accept him as a future sovereign of the kingdom.  It was kept being said that he was one day going to be standing beside Rapunzel as a ruler, but deep down, Eugene knew he was never going to be king, never going to be anything, but a past thief .
Eugene wandered down the corridors, back to his and Rapunzel’s rooms.  He wasn’t really sure what he’d do once he got there.  He didn’t really like being on his own in the castle.  It was too big for just him.  Why had he ever wanted a castle in the first place when he would have had no one to enjoy it with?
Once he got to their rooms, Eugene flopped down in a plush chair, putting his feet up on an ataman.  He heard the letter rustle in his vest.
“Oh, right.”  
He reached inside his front pocket and extracted the letter.  He tore open the envelope at the seal, sticking his thumb into it and unfolded the piece of paper, stirring up the peppermint scent again.  He looked at the words: Congratulations on the nuptials.  Eugene stared at the letter for a confused second, then crumpled it in his hands.
Eugene got up from his chair and walked over to the table by the fireplace.  He opened a drawer and pulled out a book of matches.  He struck one and held it under the letter and envelope.  He tossed the two into the fire place and put logs over them to hide the ashes.  He went back to his chair to wait for Rapunzel to come back, pondering who would have sent the letter and why did it send such a shiver down his spine?
Oh man......
So, a friend from high school has contacted me after four years of not speaking to me.  For no reason, he stopped all communication with me our freshmen year of college.  He apologized for all for that, for being a jerk, and that I deserved none of it.    I was just so happy to hear from him, I forgave him right away.  But, now, I'm in this weird state where I'm remembering the pain of abadonment, but also the good times we had.  I hoping we can pick up the pieces.
  • Mood: Dazed
  • Listening to: the voices
  • Reading: nothing
  • Watching: nothing
  • Playing: your heart strings
  • Eating: air
  • Drinking: air

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:iconsigma-astra:
Sigma-Astra Featured By Owner Oct 29, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
Thanks so much for the fav on my Senshi Academy design! I appreciate the support. :huggle: :heart:
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:iconf4113n-4ng31-0f-r4in:
You are welcome!  It would look good a t-shirt.
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WillowLightfoot Featured By Owner Sep 4, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
HAPPY BIRTHDAY FRIEND!!! I HOPE YOU HAD AN AMAZING DAY!!!
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f4113n-4ng31-0f-r4in Featured By Owner Sep 8, 2014
Thanks!  I HOPE YOUR BIRTHDAY WAS FABULOUS AS WELL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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WillowLightfoot Featured By Owner Sep 11, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
THANKS!!! :hug:
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Whytegriffin Featured By Owner Sep 2, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
:cake: Happy birthday!!!! :cake:
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f4113n-4ng31-0f-r4in Featured By Owner Sep 4, 2014
Thank you!
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pazlowq Featured By Owner Sep 2, 2014   Traditional Artist
Happy Birthday!
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f4113n-4ng31-0f-r4in Featured By Owner Sep 4, 2014
Thanks!
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Laylakl Featured By Owner Sep 2, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
:party: Happy Birthday! :ihavecaek: 
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