Not a Fairy Tale VIII
Published Feb 14, 2016

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The following day, Don took Roxanne to the other side of the island. It was a remote area that she had never been before. It was a long hike uphill.
Roxanne: How much longer is this place? It better be worth it.
Don: I think you'll love it. The hippies come here often. It's full of life.
And when they finally made it to the top he walked a little further to the edge.
Don: Come and look.
At first she was scared. He was too close to the edge. He took her hand and brought her just feet from the edge. She had to admit he was right.
Roxanne: Wow! How long has this been here?
Don: I don't know.
Roxanne: And you never told me about this?
Don: I never told anyone.
Roxanne took a deep breath. The air seemed more cleaner with a hint of sunshine and ocean water.
Don: Do you like it?
Roxanne: What a view! It's so beautiful.
He stepped closer to her. She could feel his chest on her back.
Don: You're beautiful.
The words tickled her neck down to the middle of her back.
Roxanne: I think we need to get back it's going to be a long hike down. But thanks....for the view.
It was late before Don and Roxanne returned home They made sure not to enter together to avoid being seen. Roxanne went straight inside to wash away any evidence of her whereabouts. She walked into the bedroom.
Vance: it's late.
Roxanne: I didn't realize you were there.
Vance: It's late. You've been out all afternoon.
Roxanne: And I'm off to tell the children goodnight.
Vance: I already tucked them in. Where have you been all day?
Roxanne: Nothing. I just went for a hike.
Vance: A hike? That doesn't sound like you.
Roxanne: So what you don't believe me? Do I question where you are or have been when you come home the next day?
Vance: Look it's late. I don't want to turn into an argument. I was just worried that's all. No one knew where you went off to.
Roxanne: I just needed to get out. I wanted so me time.
Vance: I can give you me time. It's just not right for a princess to be gone out alone. Anything could have happened.
Roxanne folded her arms and looked away from him. She was angry and he knew it.
Vance: I'm sorry. Let's just leave it alone and go to bed. Okay?
Roxanne: Okay.
Vance kissed her goodnight and went to bed.
Don waited in the Vance's office. He looked across the room and saw photos of Roxanne, Legacy, and Lyric on the wall. He smiled looking at them.
Vance: They took that just a few months ago.
Don: You weren't there.
Vance: No. I had a few things to do. Appearances, signing agreements. So you wanted to see me?
Don: Is everything okay?
Vance: What?
Don: I mean. I feel like there is something i am missing. I see a family but not a family. Uncle Vicente-
Vance: I am nothing like my father.
Don: That's not what I was saying.
Vance: Don't worry Don. I have everything under control. You don't worry about my family. Just teaching the twins.
Don: Are you brushing me off?
Vance: No. I am telling you that there is nothing wrong with my family. Happy wife, happy life. I give them everything they want. They don't need anything else.
Don: Okay. Well. I'm sorry if you felt I was being rude. Your family life is none of my business. I was just concerned.
Vance: No worries. Now if you don't mind, I need to get back to some business. Or is there anything else you wanted to talk about?
Don: No....that's it.
Vance: Please close the door on your way out. I need a little privacy.
Don took one last look at the pictures on the wall before leaving. We are less than weeks away before Crown Prince Vance and Crown Princess Roxanne Pago celebrate their 15years of happily wedded bliss. They will be celebrating their anniversary with the who's who of Manuiu. It is said this will be a 5 day event. Most people are talking about the performances of their twins Prince Legacy and Princess Lyric. The children have been practicing with their cousin renowned musician Dontrez Pago. Roxanne stood in the kitchen eating leftovers. She had been sneaking food in the middle of the night for the past years. She was a stress eater and whenever Vance came home late, she would find something in the refrigerator to gorge. She stood under the dim light devouring the entire bowl. Don: ahem.
She stopped.
Don: Princess diet? Or something on your mind?
Roxanne quickly put the bowl in the sink and wiped her face.
Roxanne: I thought I was alone.
She started to walk past him.
Don: I've been watching you for weeks walking around here. You are so different than the Rox I knew.
Roxanne: I became a mother. I have responsibilities.
Don: No. That's not it. The children are the only time I see a spark in you.
Roxanne: Time has changed Don. I'm older, mature. I just can't leave and go as I please.
Roxanne scoffed and tried to leave again.
Don: Don't go. I was out of line. It's just been a long time since we last talked alone. I feel like you've been purposely avoiding me.
Roxanne: I need to go to bed Don. I have a busy day ahead of me.
But Don didn't move. He stood in the doorway.
Don: Are you happy Roxanne? Is this what you want? This marriage? Being Princess Roxanna Pago?
Roxanne: Why do you care Don?
Don: I've always cared Roxanne.
Roxanne scoffed.
Roxanne: Why do you always ask me if I'm happy?
Don: Because you haven't looked it. Not since.....
He raised his hand to caress her face. At first she moved slightly but submitted to his touch. She closed her eyes as his hand ran down her cheek. She tried to hold back her emotions. Just being near him was enough to make her melt. She fought the urge to breakdown in front of him but couldn't stop a small tear from leaving her eyes.
Don: No. I didn't mean to make you cry.
He took his other hand to wipe the water from her face.
He took another step closer, making himself just inches from her face. She heard her own breath get heavy. Roxanne tried not to gasp each time his fingers ran over her lips. She wanted him to kiss her, like he did all those years ago. She could feel herself shiver with each second she waited for him to touch her again. She kept her eyes closed. She knew the moment she looked in his eyes again, she would be his. Don kissed the corner of her mouth, never touching her lips. Roxanne: I have to go.
She slipped from his hold and walked back up the stairs to her room.
Don: Goodnight princess.
Dontrez went back to his room but he couldn't sleep. Instead he turned on the fireplace. He stared at the flames dancing inside. There was small knock on the door. He looked at the clock next to his bed. 3am.
Don: Come in.
Don: Roxanne.
Roxanne: I couldn't sleep. I didn't know what to do or why I'm here.
Don: I'm glad you came.
Roxanne: I...I'm sorry. I can't do this.
Don: Roxanne!
She stopped before reaching the door handle.
Roxanne: This feels so wrong. I don't know what I was thinking.
Don: You wanted to see me as much as I wanted to see you.
Roxanne: no.
Don: I've missed you.
Roxanne: How can you say that? You never called me, you never wrote me. You always do this. Leave then come back, leave then come back.
Don: What? I did all those things. When I was away at school I wrote you every day. When I left for the military I wrote more. I leave because I can't sit and watch you with him. I can't be happy for you when you're not with me. I wrote to you and have been writing to you for years. I've poured my heart out to you on paper because I'm afraid they will find out if I sent it any other way.
Roxanne: I don't believe you.
Don: I have never lied to you Roxanne. The only time I didn't try to contact you is when you and Vance left Manu. I figured it would be better to just leave you alone. Let you be the wife that you wanted to be. I knew that if I tried to push you more that it will only ruin things.
Roxanne: Then why now? Why did you have to come back.
Don: Because I wanted to see you. I always felt incomplete when I was away from you. I searched for what I thought I was missing and found nothing. The only time I have life is when I am around you.
Roxanne: Stop.
Don: I told myself that I wouldn't do this. I know being with another man's wife is wrong, but when I am with you I can't help it.
Roxanne: Stop.
She tried covering her face to avoid listening to him.
Don: You have never stopped being a part of me. I wasn't with anyone else and I didn't want to be with anyone else. And if just watching you from afar is all I can do then I am willing to do it. I didn't ask to come back but I didn't turn it down when Daisy told me.
Roxanne: I never got a letter. I never received anything from you. I waited. I waited for just one letter from you to say that you loved me, missed me, or even cared. And then when I finally heard from you it was to break up with me.
Don: Break up? I never wrote a letter to break up with you.
Roxanne grew more confused. She couldn't believe what she was hearing.
Don sat on the bed.
Roxanne: I thought you forgot about me. I tried to be a wife. I tried to be a princess. But I realized along the way that I didn't want them. Not like this. Everything is so confusing I don't know what to do. I'm not happy. I never have been. But I can't do anything about it. It's too late.

He heard the pain in her voice.
Don: come lay with me.
Roxanne: Don.
Don: Come lay with me. You can't sleep and neither can I. Let down your guard. Just lay with me. Please.
He reached out his hand to her.
The urge to be with him made it difficult to say no. Roxanne took his hand and he led her next to him on the bed. On top of the covers, they laid beside each other. She placed her hand over his chest and rested her head on his shoulder. Their bodies fit together like pieces on a puzzle. Wrapped in each others arms, they were finally able to get to sleep.
It was hard for Roxanne to resist Don. He was good company for her when she was alone and needed a friend. He never forced her to do anything, but the smallest suggestion made her want to rebel. She wanted to throw away everything prim and proper about being a royal just to be within feet of him. They began sneaking around again. While the children were gone to school and Vance was away on his Princely tasks, the two would leave the mansion and go off to different adventures in the town.Don was familiar with the Island from his childhood and knew all the places he could take her to be alone. Even in hiding, she still felt more free than she had been in years. Don was gentle. He was afraid of making the wrong move and scaring her away. He knew if they went too far it would not be good for either of them. But there was still aside of him that wanted to selfish. Lyric: Watch me Don!
Don: I am. Be careful up there.
Lyric walked up the steps to the top of the dive board.
Legacy: What are you going to do now?
Lyric: You'll see.
There was a small splash behind them.
Legacy: Mom!
Lyric jumped off just as Roxanne joined them on the other side of the pool.
Legacy: I thought you were busy today.
Roxanne: I changed plans. I had more important things to do.
She scooped the water into Legacy's face. He laughed splashing the water back in her face. Soon Lyric joined in on the fun.
They continued to play the rest of the afternoon in the water. The four of them played water games in the pool. Don left the group to sit at poolside and watch them. Soon Lyric decided to stop and sat next to Don.
Lyric: I like it when you're here.
Don: I like it too.
Lyric: Mom has been happy ever since you came.
Don: I've been happy since I came.
After visiting Manu, the family gathered for dinner.
Vance: Don, mother says hello.
Don: Sorry I missed the trip. I was getting things ready for the special anniversary performance.
The children cheered.
Vance: I know. We can't wait to hear it. Everyone's been talking about it. You'd think it was the only thing in this town.
Vance: So Don, what plans do you have after the concert.
Don: Well...I don't know.
Vance: Plan to do more traveling?
Vance laughed to himself as he forked the meal on his plate.
Vance: You know, you have never been the one to stick around long. Always on the go. You should try settling down. Get a family. It may do you some good.
Don glanced across the table at Roxanne, but her eyes stayed on the food in front of her.
Vance: Have some kids, get a real job. You have so many talents, you should just focus on one.
Don clinched his fork in his hand.
Vance: People are always gossiping about the....."friends" you keep. Maybe after this you can find someone to make a wife.
Don: Excuse me. I'm not as hungry as I thought I was.
Vance didn't object to him leaving the table. Instead he went back to his meal. Roxanne wanted to get up and follow Don but chose her family first. She leaned over and whispered to Vance.
Roxanne: Was all that necessary at the dinner table?
Vance: What? He is so sensitive, always has been. I was only making small talk.
Roxanne: You were attacking him.
Vance waved her off and began talking to the children.
It was late when Don finally fell asleep. He tossed and turned for hours but his mind finally settled. There was a small tapping at the door. Thinking he was dreaming, he went back to sleep. Then he heard the sound again.
Roxanne: Don. It's me. Don?
Don was still half asleep when he answered his bedroom door. He stepped back to let her in.
Roxanne: I wanted to say that I'm sorry about dinner. Vance was out of line.
Don: No, no he wasn't. He was right. But, I can't settle. Not without you. But I know this can't happen. It won't happen. I'm no longer competing for you with Vance. But Lyric and Legacy. And I can't do that to them. I know that. I'm making plans to leave after the performance. It will make it easier for everyone if I do.
Roxanne didn't want to hear anymore. She thrust herself into his arms, her lips on his. A rush of euphoria gushed through her. He tightened is grip on her and kissed her harder. His hands could not resist touching all over her.
But something came over him. He wanted her right then and there. But he kept thinking about Legacy and Lyric.
Don: No. We can't.....
She looked partly embarrassed that he turned away from her. He took her hand and led her to his bed. Instead of anything more that night, they slept in each others arm. When the sun came up and he awoke, she had already left to go back to her room.
For the days that followed Roxanne stayed secluded in her quarters. She wasn't ready to speak to anyone. Their anniversary was coming soon and the town was getting ready for the celebration. Even Mother Daisy was leaving her palace and live with them for the last few days.
Roxanne sat soaking in her tub. The water was turning cold but she couldn't feel the change. Her assistant knocked on the door for her to come out.
Meanwhile, Don was busy at the Opera House preparing for all the last minute touches. He was finishing up when his cell phone went off. He could not understand the panicked voice on the other side.
Don: What? Roxanne? I'll be right there.
Don wasted no time waiting for the royal driver to take him. He borrowed the keys from one of the assistants and sped through the streets of Pusotu. He weaved between cars and barely made it through lights. He did not care how he got to her. Most of the hospital was closed off from the rest of the townspeople that began to gather outside of the building. Don was able to get past security and made his way to the other side of the hallway in the waiting area. He found Legacy sitting alone on the couch. There were a few other people surrounding him but no one from the family. They allowed Don to pass through and sit next to him.
Don: Hey.
He could see the sadness on the young boy's face.
He wrapped his arms around Legacy.
Don: It's going to be okay.
Legacy tried to talk in between the tears.
Legacy: Grandmother took Lyric with her. She was crying a lot. I told myself I was going to be strong. I was going to be a soldier like you. Papas been waiting.
Don held Legacy longer, rocking him back and forth as Uncle Vicente did to him when he was upset.
Vance: Where have you been?
Don stood up from the couch.
Don: I was just called. I came over as soon as I got the call.
Vance looked over at Legacy. He motioned for Don to follow him on the other side of the room.
Don: What happened? Is Roxanne alright?
Vance: I don't know. Doctor's can't find anything wrong. They ran all tests on her but nothing. They say it might be stress or fatigue. Her assistant found her passed out in the tub this morning.
Don: Is she going to be alright?
Vance: They are going to keep her for a few more days. To make sure there is nothing else wrong.
Don: I don't get it.
Vance: I need to be honest with you. She hasn't been the same since you came back. I think that after the performance, it would be best for you to go.
Don: What?
Vance: You can stay with mother if you need a place to stay, money?
Don: I don't need money Vance.
Vance: I just want her to recover well and things didn't start happening until you came here. And now this.
Don: You're blaming this on me?
Vance: No. But I just want to eliminate any thing that could be stress to her.
Don waved Vance away.
Don: I need some air.
Hello Pusotu. Well the town can take a sigh of relief as Princess Roxanna Pago has been released from the hospital after one week. According to the royal family, the princess was suffering from exhaustion. The doctors have put her on one week of bed rest.
With their annual anniversary celebration within a few days, the Queen has postponed the event for another week.
Legacy: Why are you in your room? Mama will be home soon.
Lyric: Yeah. But did you hear what Papa said? Don will be leaving after next week.
Legacy: No he isn't.
Lyric: Yes. That's what Papa told Grandmother.
Legacy: We've been having fun since he came here.
Lyric: I know. And Mama. She's happy. What will happen when he leaves?
Legacy: I don't know.
Lyric: I don't want Don to go Legacy.
Legacy: Me neither.
Lyric: You think we can talk to him. Tell him to stay.
Legacy: I don't know. Maybe if we talk to Mama. She can convince him.
The days after leaving the hospital seemed to never end. Slowly Roxanne was gaining her strength. She started walking around her room but never left her wing of the mansion. No one was allowed to see her. And when she wanted to see Legacy and Lyric she watched them from the balcony of her room. No one knew what happened. Her examinations never showed a cause. But inside she knew why. Don passed by her room. He hesitated each time to knock on the door even though he wanted to. They hadn't spoken at all when she was in the hospital or when she came home. With the immediate family surrounding her he knew he wouldn't be able to speak to her alone.
Roxanne heard the tapping from inside the room. She looked back at the door. There was a small muffle. But she didn't move. Instead she returned back to watching the children playing outside. Reporter: It's the time we have all been waiting for. With Princess Roxanne cleared from her doctors, the Crown Prince and Princess will be celebrating their 15 year wedding anniversary. We know that the Late Prince Vicente Pago is looking down on his son proudly. Everyone has been waiting to begin the week long celebration, beginning with the performance of their children Prince Legacy and Princess Lyric. With the Opera house filled, we are now waiting to begin. Queen Daisy Pago is accompanied with her son the Crown Prince. This must be a treat for her to see her Grandchildren's first public performance.

Daisy: How is Roxanne?
Vance: Fine mother. She is doing better.
Daisy: Good. I don't want anything to ruin this week.
Roxanne sat in back of Daisy and Vance. She knew her place when her mother in law was around. She sat quietly playing with her handkerchief in her lap. She was more nervous for her children than they were. She tried to keep a smile to hide her nervousness and hoped that no one could see through it.
The lights dimmed cuing the beginning of the performance. As the curtains drew back, she held her breath as she saw her children on the stage.
Legacy began the melody on the piano, first beginning with a small solo. He closed his eyes and his fingers danced on the keys. Soon Lyric joined him on stage and the two began playing together. Just as Don said they were in tune with each other.
After 30minutes of playing both of them walked to the front of the stage for their bow.
The audience stood clapping their hands and cheering the little wonders. Don stood proudly backstage.
Don: You did it!
Uncle Ivan Pago hosted the remainder of the night at the Pago Pusotu Palace. Family, friends, celebrities, and dignitaries attended the night's festivities. Don: Roxanne? What are you doing out here?
Roxanne: I wanted to be alone. There were so many people in the house. I decided to hide out here instead.
Don: Someone will be looking for you.
Roxanne: I know. I'm just not in the mood for all that. Please, come sit next to me.
Don: Are you okay? I can call a driver to take you home.
Roxanne: I'm fine. I just needed to get away. it's the first time in weeks that I have been around a lot of people and it was just a bit too overwhelming.
Don: You scared everyone
Roxanne: I scared myself.
Roxanne: I don't know what I'm doing anymore.
Roxanne took a deep breath.
Roxanne: There is something I need to tell you. Don-
Don: I'm going to be leaving in a few days.
Roxanne: What? Why?
Don: I just think it's best that I leave. Me being here is not good for you.
Roxanne: How can you say that? That's not true.
Don: I'm not making this easy for you and I know that. I need to move on and let you live the way you should.
Roxanne: No. Don.
Don: Roxanne. I didn't come all the way out here to upset you. I wasn't going to say anything until I felt the time was right. But when is a good time? There is nothing I wouldn't do for you or the children. But I... I ...
Roxanne rushed from her seat. She could hear him call out to her but she was already into the labyrinth and he lost her.

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