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Chapter Three
“Love Hurts”

Link walked into the castle, he asked a guard if he had seen Zelda, the guard pointed towards Zelda’s courtyard. Link sighed, “I should’ve known.”

Link walked towards the courtyard, making his way through the garden. As he turned the corner, he ran into someone. Link backed up and found that he had bumped into Derek, the prince engaged to Zelda. Link looked at Derek for a moment. There was something strange about him, but Link couldn’t quite figure out what.

Derek smirked, “And just who do we have here? I saw you at the party earlier today.”

Link nodded slowly, “I’m guessing you’re Prince Derek?”

Derek smiled, confidence showing brightly, “Yes...the one and only. May I ask what you’re doing here?”

Link spoke politely, “I’m just going to meet with someone.” Derek inquired, “Someone, eh? Does it happen to involve MY Zelda?”

Link knew right there that he hated this cocky jerk, but he did his best to be respectful, Derek was still royalty after all.

Derek waited for Link’s answer, Link tried to walk around Derek, but he blocked his path. Link sighed, “Please...just let me talk to her for a bit.” Derek crossed his arms, “You know what? You’re acting rather rude. You’re lucky I’m a nice guy, or I would’ve called the guards on you and have you hanged.”

Link clenched his fists. Derek laughed, “And no, you can’t see Zelda. I’m not allowing her to see anyone for now.”

Link quickly snapped back, “What do you mean ‘allow’?”

Derek sighed, looking at Link as if he were stupid, “Because she’s MY girl and I’m not going to let any other man bother her, she’s mine after all. Women need a man’s guidance...otherwise they’ll just end up helpless.”

Link wanted to punch out the prince right there, but he knew it wasn’t completely worth it. Link gives up and turns to leave, Derek called out after him, “Oh, and if I catch you around her again, you’ll regret it!”

Link stormed out of the castle and walked right past Zelda, who had snuck out to find him. Zelda turned and called out to him, “Link!”

Link kept walking. Zelda made a face and ran towards him, she caught up to him and turned him around, “Hey, Link! I was looking all over for you!” Link stayed quiet. Zelda looked confused, “What’s wrong?” Link didn’t respond and stared at the ground.

“Hey, look at me, will you?” Zelda pleaded, pulling Link’s face to hers, “I have a plan to escape. We’re going to run away together, ok? I’ll stop being a princess, and I won’t have to marry Derek! We’ll finally be happy!” Link still remained silent.

“Link?” Zelda said with an angry tone “Didn’t you hear me?”

Link looked Zelda in the eyes and spoke, “Zelda, we knew today would happen. And we both knew we wouldn’t interfere with it when it did. You can’t just run away now, it’s your duty as a princess to marry him and unite the people. Don’t be so selfish.”

Zelda stepped back, biting her lip. She stared at Link with a hint of hate, “I’m disappointed in you, Link. I thought you loved me as much as I loved you. I guess I was wrong! You’re useless! You’re a coward! I never want to see you again!!!”

“You just realized that now?” Derek’s voice came from behind Zelda.

Derek walked up to the both of them and put an arm around Zelda’s waist. Zelda looked at Link and then stared at the ground. Derek grinned at Link, sensing victory. Derek kissed Zelda lightly on the forehead and said, “Zelda, please go to your room and get some rest.”

Zelda looked at Link for a moment and said, “Alright...” and in a last attempt to get back at Link, she kissed Derek on the lips, glancing at Link from out of the corner of her eye. Link didn’t show any emotion whatsoever. His face was blank. She broke the kiss and hurried off towards the castle.

Derek watched her go and turned back to Link, “She's so easy to manipulate, it's almost a shame. Just say the right words and she's merely a puppet on a string. Don’t you see, Link?” Link figured Derek had heard part of the conversation and had caught his name, “It's amazing how quick a girl can turn on a someone she loves at the last moment. That's why you have to keep her in check. Besides, you’re useless. Just give up on her.”

Derek smiled and backhanded Link from out of nowhere, cutting Link’s lip. Link held his ground and simply took the hit without any protest.

Derek laughed and walked away, leaving Link alone.

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