The Princess and the Pea- A Modern Retake- Inspired by ‘Day 137: Bed Time’ Photo by tsmall
She really was beautiful.
Mark stared at Tia for the longest time as she brushed her dark brown hair in the bathroom. Her long legs accentuated by her tip toeing and her back arched to see closer into the mirror over the sink.
“I won’t be out long.” Tia chimed in her almost musical voice. Mark smiled at her and let the feeling of her soft lips linger on his as she kissed him goodbye.
He was in love with Tia, truly and deeply. But he knew that she couldn’t be the girl for him because as much as he loved her, there was another love in his life. And if Tia discovered this, she would leave without hesitation.
It was that love he turned to as soon as Tia had shut the door. Mark reached beneath his bed, let his fingers feel around the dust covered floorboards until they found exactly what he was searching for.
Mark pulled out the pile of thin books from under the bed and grinned. The top one proudly announced, ‘The Forge of Fury- 12th Greatest Dungeons and Dragons Adventure Of All Time!’. With excited hands he pulled back the cover and began to read the contents as he knew he was behind with planning and this was his only chance to do it without Tia around before his meeting next week.
It was two hours later, when Mark was lost in the world of role-playing that Tia returned. The door clicked open and Mark’s heart jumped into his throat. He stared at the notes and books spread before him with panic.
She could not find out.
In a flurry Mark grabbed all of his work and shoved it under the mattress. He watched in silent anguish as the ink smudged at his rough handling and the rulebook crumpled and ripped. With a final push he managed to get all of it under the bed, wishing he could also shove some of the embarrassment he felt along with it.
“You alright?” Tia asked as she glided into the bedroom. Mark simply nodded, unable to speak his heart was thumping so loud. “I’m exhausted. I think bedtime is in order.” She let out a small sigh that made Mark’s skin tingle.
“Yeah.” He agreed finally, a last guilty look at the place under the mattress where he had hid his secret passion.
It was a gloomy morning the next day. Mark wasn’t even sure it was really morning considering how dark it was until he looked at the clock which told him with bright red numbers it was actually 9:30am. He rolled onto his back and that was when he discovered Tia was wide awake. She had dark circles beneath her normally dazzling green eyes and a small frown creased her feminine features.
“What’s wrong?” Mark asked in genuine concern.
With a heavy sigh Tia looked to him. “I couldn’t sleep. Something was poking into me all night.”
“What?” Mark ran his hand over the bed sheet but could feel nothing.
“I don’t know.” Tia groaned and finally pushed herself out of the bed. Mark let himself doze as Tia searched the bed for whatever had kept her awake. “Mark… What is this?”
Mark’s eyes flicked open very quickly. He looked to her as she held a pile of crumpled paper and the Dungeons and Dragons role-playing book. For a moment it felt as though time had stopped, prolonging the horrible and inevitable moment when she would realise.
“It’s…I…uh….” Mark spluttered for words. But he did not have time to form an answer as Tia dipped down to look beneath the bed again. She stood this time to reveal a small white, 20 sided dice on the palm of her open hand.
“At least I know what was keeping me awake now.” Tia said but Mark could not discern her tone from the words. Slowly he sat up. People said it was refreshing when a secret was revealed but Mark felt only anxious, his palms sweating as he held the bed sheet.
“I suppose you’ll be leaving now then?” Mark’s brow knotted together and he could not look her in the eye.
“That depends,” Tia spoke softly and his gaze fell to the dice as she threw it onto the bed before him. “Has your group got room for a lawful good, high elf rogue to join?”
There was a long silent moment before Mark realised what Tia had just said. When he finally looked up to meet her gaze she was beaming at him.
“Y-yes!” He stuttered. Tia laughed at his open-mouthed shock and crawled onto the bed to hug him tightly. “You really are the girl for me.” Mark whispered as he kissed the top of her head.