This is my first fan fiction so I hope it's good! Ok, let's pretend Ella wasn't unmasked at the last ball. Char still thinks she's Lela from Bast. This story starts at the end of the third ball, I hope you like my twist!


TELL HIM! My heart screamed at me. As he held me in his arms for the last dance a battle raged in my head. It shouldn't have been this way. He wasn't supposed to dance with me. The song ended suddenly and Char and I stood frozen, knowing that our farewell was near.

"You'll be returning to Bast then?" He asked, still frozen, holding me as everyone else began to leave.

"Yes. I'll be leaving tonight. Once I've gathered my things," I replied, I didn't want him to offer to see me in the morning.

My head seemed to have won the battle but my heart still ached. I felt tears begin to well up in my eyes. He saved me by pulling me close and hugging me. I took advantage of this and wiped my eyes. I pulled away.

" escort is probably waiting for me at the inn. I'm walking back tonight. I should have already left," I said, my heart breaking all over again.

"It isn't safe for a young maiden to be roaming the streets at night. Let me take you in one of my carriages," an order.

He held his arm out for me. I took it sadly and we walked outside. He signaled to someone and a moment later a carriage arrived in front of us. He helped me inside and then sat down next to me. We didn't say anything. His hand slid slowly to mine. He held it gently. A tear streaked down my face.

"What is the matter Lady Lela?" he asked, pulling a handkerchief from his tunic.

"I shall miss Frell terribly," I lied.

He wiped the tears off of my face, "I shall miss you terribly."

He leaned forward and kissed me. It was sweet and terrible at the same time. I had been longing for his kiss for ages! But he was not kissing me, he was not kissing Ella, he was kissing Lela of Bast. He no longer loved me. I tried to pull away from him but I couldn't. It was too painful. Finally the carriage stopped and he slid out to open the door for me.

"May I visit you in Bast?" he asked.

"Oh highness," the tears streamed down my face, I got choked up.

"Farewell, Lady Lela. Until we meet again," he said, climbing back into the carriage and waving.

As soon as the carriage was out of sight I sat down and bawled. I never should have gone to the ball! He was now in love with a person that didn't exist. I stood and began walking home. The inn was closer to Madame Olga's manor than the palace so I arrived there quickly. I crept into the kitchen and looked around. Mandy wasn't in there so I waited. It didn't take long.

She ran into the kitchen and sighed when she saw me, "Oh there you are. Change into these clothes immediately. I've told Hattie and Mum Olga you are in bed with a terribly high fever."

I changed, still crying, and she hid my dress and jewelry in her drawer. She looked out the kitchen door. I heard footsteps coming down the hall. Mandy looked at me.

"Well maybe just this once. It isn't really big magic. Hold my hand," I obeyed and she blinked.

We were in my room and there was a bowl of hot soup waiting for me. I climbed into my bed and Mandy sat next to me, stroking my hair. I finished the soup and stopped crying. I sighed. I knew what she would say next.

"All right dear. Tell me everything," an order.

After my story she sighed and hugged me, "You did the right thing."

"Then how come I feel so terrible?" I asked, wiping my eyes.

"Because you followed your head, not your heart. Although I think that in your heart you know this is the right thing to do. I'd better go back to my room. Goodnight Ella."

When she was gone I grabbed my book. 'Please show me what Char is thinking!' I opened to the middle. There was a picture of Char holding his head in confusion. On the following pages were three journal entries. Queen Daria's was first.

'I think my dear Charmont may have found the love of his life. He's quite taken by this Lela of Bast. She seems like a wonderful woman. I shall sleep peacefully tonight knowing the future of Kyrria is in safe hands.'

It went on about a spat some courtiers were having that day. Hattie's entry was next.

'I'm afrade Prince Charmont is in love with Lady Lela of Bast. He gave her a ryde hum in his karrage! I will do wutevr it takes to stop him frum marrying her. Evn if I must go to Bast to stop him, I will. If I marry him Ella will be forevr distrat.'

The third journal entry was Char's. My heart fluttered as I read it.

'I'm so confused. I know Ella is a wretched rich woman now but part of my heart still belongs to her. I love her. But I also love Lela. And Lela is not married and she is not a wretched rich woman. If I cannot have Ella I must have Lela. I have already been granted permission to visit Bast next week. I will find Lela and make her my wife.'

I closed the book. I couldn't read on. What would happen when he arrived in Bast and realized there was no Lela and that carriages weren't orange? What would he do? What would he think? I opened my book again to finish reading his journal entry but it was gone. Replaced by a picture of a girl about my age reading a book. Her hair was about my length and the same color. I looked for the story that went along with her but there was none. Confused I set the book down and went to sleep.