"Are you sure your family will be ok with me staying here." I nervously inquired hesitating at the edge of the clearing overlooking his cottage.
"Well I don't think they will send you away at least." He laughed awkwardly scratching the back of his head as he attempted to reassure me. I frowned at him. I wasn't quite certain how to react to that.
"Do they even know I am coming?" I suspiciously asked crossing my arms as I turned to him with narrowed eyes.
"Ummm well... hey look there's my dad. Come on no time to waste." I sighed at his weak attempt to distract me as he darted off toward a man exiting the cottage. Following slowly behind him, I watched as he reached his dad and taking the pail from him quickly darted off to the well a few feet away to draw water. I slowly walked over to Roger as he was struggling to hoist the pail, now full of water, out of the deep well.
Grabbing hold of one end of the rope I helped him pull it up and rest it on the edge of the brick wall surrounding the hole in the ground. I could hear Rogers dad's approach as Roger undid the rope and let it drop back into the hole. Glancing over to his dad I gulped as I saw this huge man with muscles lining his entire body approaching me. Taking a deep breath to calm my nerves I turned to face him my eyes scanning the numerous scars running up and down his arms, his burly unkempt beard, dark yellow and black teeth that held a piece of straw firmly in his mouth, and dark midnight blue eyes that seemed to bore straight into your soul. I could feel my self-shaking in dread as I noticed his hands balled into fists a scary expression plastered on his face. I opened my mouth to introduce myself but never got a chance, as he immediately swept me up in a ginormous bear hug spinning me around and around in laughter.
"Sure is nice to finally meet you princess. Roger has talked nonstop about you since he started working at the castle as an apprentice 6 years ago. I can't say I expected you, but sure am glad you are here." He laughed in a voice that came straight from the grave as he put me back down. I was out of breath after having my air momentarily cut off as this huge man hugged me. Once I could breathe again I glanced over at Roger a question in my expression. He laughed as he set the pail of water down beside him and walked over to stand beside me.
"Sasha this is my dad Blade. Don't let his rough and tumble exterior fool you, he is as soft as newly churned butter on a hot summers day. Won't find a sweeter man in all of the kingdom. Never once in all my years have I ever seen him mad." I gaped at him over come with shock as I glanced back at this huge scary man. How could someone so scary turn out to be so sweet? Even his name strikes fear in the hearts of those who hear it. I expected Blade to be mad when he saw my expression and realized my assumptions but he only howled in laughter.
"I see you expected me to be mean because of how beastly I look. Am I correct?" He chuckled, smiling kindly at me. I blushed a lovely shade of crimson as I gazed down at my feet too ashamed to meet his gaze.
"Oh don't be embarrassed sweet girl. I understand. It can be hard for people to trust what doesn't always fit the standard beauty mold am I right? How about we just start from scratch K. I'm Blade. So what brings you to this area of the forest princess." I smiled gratefully up at him as I took his outstretched hand before quickly filling him in. By the end of my story the smile plastered on his face had vanished. Replaced instead by a haunted look. Before he could respond though a new voice entered the conversation.
"Can't say I am surprised. That woman should never have been made queen in the first place." We all glanced over to the cottage where a beautiful woman with long flowing chestnut hair, puppy dog brown eyes, and a soft gentle gleam in her eyes was striding over to us arms crossed over her chest. I gasped in wonder and awe as I watched her gracefully stride over to us more delicately than even a fairy. It was like the whole forest stopped breathing at her approach as her very being graced them with her presence. She was stunning. How did someone this lovely escape unnoticed by my step mom. With how vain she is it's amazing this woman is even still alive.
"Sasha meet my mom Angel." Roger introduced, a worried look on his face as she stopped a few feet from us. I was a little confused why Roger looked so worried. After all if Blade accepted me I am sure this beautiful woman would too.
"Hello it's very nice to meet you." I cheerfully greeted extending my hand to her. She glared at me raising her eyebrow at my extended hand. I blushed as I lowered it, staring awkwardly at my feet under her intense gaze.
"Roger why did you bring her here." She inquired venom leaking out of every word.
"You heard what Sasha said her step mom..."
"Yes I know. Her step mom is trying to kill her boohoo. I ask again why did you bring her here. She will do nothing but bring us trouble. It would be better if she finds somewhere else to stay. We have enough problems to deal with without a spoiled brat coming in and bringing more trouble." She snapped turning her glare on her son who shrunk to the size of a mouse as she burned him with her gaze.