Many centuries ago.

The mighty steed raced through the forest. Sweat drenched the rider's face, his cape waving in the wind as they rode down the familiar path.

His breath caught in his lungs when he saw his destination. The quaint cottage dwelled in a mossy glade beside a quiet stream where a water wheel turned on the side. The house had two floors and was so far into the trees that it looked like it was part of them.

He glanced up into the canopy to where she likes to sit and stare at the moon. She was the reason for this furtive expedition into the forbidden forest.

She turned and noticed him beneath the trees and with a smile climbed down from her position amongst the branches. His eyes traveled over her auburn hair and her other features. By the time he had looked her completely over and his eyes rested in hers she stood before him. He took her delicate face in his hands and kissed her lips gently.

The kiss became intense as his fingers tangled in her luxurious hair. Her small hands caressed the back of his neck. A slight moan that hinted at desperation seeped from between her lips as she pulled away and turned from him.

"How long must we do this?" she asked.

"I could do this for eternity." He said approaching her slowly and wrapping his arms around her slim waist. "I only wish that our love did not have to be a secret."

"As do I." She leaned her head back onto his shoulder and he took the opportunity to plant tiny kisses on the column of her neck.

"Yet we cannot. My father will not have it. He wishes that I should marry the Princess Ayanna of Accalia."

"I am not in love with your father or your crown!" She said whirling abruptly, tears threatening to fall from her radiant eyes. "I am in love with the man who only a year ago today, swept me off of my feet and made his way into my heart."

"He is here, only under the guise of a prince who could never love anyone who was not of royal blood." She attempted to turn away from him but he gently caressed her face and turned her back. "Know this, there is not a soul or thing that could capture my heart the way you have. I love you with all of my being and will until the end of time."

The tears started to fall freely and he could taste their salt when he kissed her lips. "No tears my love. Tears are not worthy to don such a face as priceless as yours."

She smiled and leaned her forehead to his chest. "You flatter me too much."

"But it is true." He said wrapping an arm around her shoulders enveloping her in the warmth of his embrace and cloak. They began to walk through the forest not leaving the vicinity of the cottage.

"He says my grandfather would sit up in his grave if he knew I had fallen in love with a sorceress."

"Indeed he would. It is known within a million miles that your grandfather and mine were the best of enemies."

"My father is very ill. The kingdom is awaiting my marriage to Ayanna and to take on my father's responsibility."

"Rightly so. You would make a wonderful king."

"But a horrible husband. Ayanna could never make me happy, for my heart will always belong to you. If only I could denounce my thrown."

"Damien! I will not let you talk this way. You will not denounce your thrown. Your kingdom needs you and the Princess Ayanna would make a wonderful queen and faithful wife."

"But she is not you, Rhian

"If our love is true, then it will last. Though we may not be together in this life we may in another."