Hey, everyone...LilliannaRose and I have decided that it would be wise to go back and fix our mistakes in our EE stories...so, here is the first chapter, corrected and, in my opinion, much improved. Enjoy!

Chapter One:

Char tightened his hold on my waist. "Marriage is supposed to last forever, but friendship can too. Will you…"

I felt something at the back of my head. Hattie, dancing near by with the Earl of Demby, snatched off my mask. I let go of Char and covered my face with my hands, but was too slow. I had been seen.

"Ella!" Hattie screamed in the extremely annoying, high pitched screech that belonged solely to her.

Char gasped. "Ella?"

I broke away from him and began to run from the ballroom, just as the clock struck midnight. Outside, a useless pumpkin lay where my carriage had once stood. I continued to run, heedless of everything but escaping. As I scurried away, one of my slippers dropped from my foot.

I heard shouts behind me, but dared not stop. I would not be caught.

"Mandy!" I shouted as I reached the manner, then scurried to the kitchens. "I've endangered Char again, and Kyrria! What shall I do?"

"Back your things," Mandy ordered, thinking quickly. "We'll find work somewhere. Hurry."

I dashed to my room and began to throw things into the back. Slipping off my remaining slipper and gown, I stuffed them into my bag and donned my servant clothes. Mandy tied a length of linen into my hair as I straightened out my dress. She must have come in while I was packing, but I hadn't heard her. In her hand, she held a carpetbag, worn from age and use.

Nancy appeared at the door. "It's the prince. He wants to see everyone," she stated, voice low.

I didn't move.

She giggled nervously. "He won't eat us, at least I hope not. Come."

Dumbly, I followed, Mandy coming after me, holding our bags that Nancy had yet to notice. We were walking up the stairs when I felt a light tap on my shoulder. Quickly, I turned. Mandy, holding a finger to her lips, pointed at the door next to us. Hattie's room, on of the rooms with a large window in the house. A window big enough for a person to easily slip out of. We stole into it, hoping Nancy wouldn't notice. She didn't, luckily, too fearful herself.

We headed for the window. "Where are Ella and Mandy?" I heard the voice of Olive ask from the hall. Suddenly there was a loud squeal of pain. Hattie must have stepped on her foot to gain her silence.

Char commanded, voice harsh yet full of hope, "Search the house!"

Mandy went out the window, and I followed. My head was just disappearing over the sill when Char entered through the door. My head was still sticking out over the windowsill. He didn't see me, but just as he was exiting, my foot kicked the wall. He turned back around, and his eyes snapped to the window, where my head was sticking out from. I scrambled down the large ivy that climbed the side of the house before jumping the remaining feet to the ground. His head stick out of the window, and, upon seeing me, he began to climb out. My heart filled with dread at to what was surely to come, but as I froze, Mandy grabbed my hand and ran towards the forest, not looking back. I followed, though with all my heart, I wanted to stay.

"Ella, stop!" Char shouted from behind me. He had gotten to the ground, and was beginning to run after us. I continued my mad dash for the woods, though the symptoms had already begun. I to stop after several moments, for I was beginning to become dizzy. The world seemed to be spinning beneath my feet. I tugged at Mandy's hand, asking her to countermand what Char had ordered. "Lady, keep going. Don't stop. Not yet," she whispered to me. I continued, relief filling me, but the dread still there.

The sound of footsteps behind us receded as we got deeper into the trees. We stopped for a few moments to breathe and make plans, for we were both extremely tired. It had to have been at least one in the morning.

"Where would you like to go now, lady?" Mandy questioned, breathing hard.

"I don't know."

"This is your decision, Ella," she informed me, voice strict yet still kind.

"Fine." I let out a sigh and tried to think. Suddenly it came to me. I wondered why I had not seen it sooner. Areida's family owned and inn, and I had read earlier in my magic book that her aunt, the cook, had just died, and they were looking for someone to fill her place. I explained the idea to Mandy, and happily she agreed.

I ordered a thorough search of the house. I searched every room I came across, until finally coming across one of the family rooms. Hattie's, from the look. There was nothing in it, unfortunately. I had had a good feeling about it-the door was slightly ajar, unlike the others in the manor, which were all firmly closed Just as I was about to leave, a sharp pang of disappointment filling my breast at again finding nothing, I heard a scratching noise outside the window. I was at it in two strides, looking over the sill in time to see Ella jump the remaining feet to the ground, stumble slightly, and be dragged away by her cook.

She looked back once, and I could see the fear etched on her face. Fear that I didn't understand. I ordered her to stop, figuring that she wouldn't listen, but attempting anyway, just to show her how desperate I was. Imagine my surprise when after a moment, she did. Or it seemed she did, as there was a brief pause in her stride before Mandy leaned over and whispered something in her ear, and again they were off, as if nothing had ever happened. But there was that one brief pause after I made my command. I didn't understand it. Why would she stop? She had looked frozen, as if she couldn't move.

They went deeper into the forest, and I knew I had no chance to catch up. I couldn't follow anyway. My people weren't with me, and my parents would be furious if I went anywhere without my appointed guard. Also, I didn't know the forest like Ella did. I would get lost within minutes, but Ella could wander and wander and still know exactly where she was.

So, I gathered my people, got my parents permission, and left. We stayed on the roads in the woods, never straying far from the path. I was anxious. What was the matter with her? Why would she run like that? Why was she so fearful?

We traveled to Bast, for I thought that was where she would go. After all, she pretended to be from there. It had to hold some importance to her. It was a four day journey, and we saw nothing of her the entire way.

She was no where to be found in Bast. Or at least in the first town. She wouldn't have been able to get too far ahead of us, because we were on a road and had horses. She might have actually been behind us. But then again, she may not have been headed here at all. From what I knew, she had nothing there for her, just as she had nothing anywhere else. We searched the forest around the city, but she was nowhere to be found.

Me men finally persuaded me to return home. "The lass will come back when she wants. Besides, you can always send out a party to search for her. You need a break, lad," Aubrey said to me, voice gentle.

I smiled lightly at his concern, and bowed my head in defeat. We were back at the castle in two days.

We arrived at the inn two days past. They gladly accepted us after learning that Areida and I had been best friends as finishing school. They liked us even more upon tasting Mandy's cooking. I was to help in the kitchen and do any other odd jobs, like Areida. We often waited tables when the place was busy. Mandy, of course, was the resident chef.

Mandy and my food was paid for as part of our wages, and we stayed at the inn. We had planned on getting our own home, but Areida's mother had told us that all workers needed to live there, for we kept late hours and got up long before the dawn. Not that anyone minded.

My room was the last in the building, right across from Mandy's and next to Areida's. It was one of the nicest, though no one liked to stay in it because there are chickens on the ground below, and they crow at dawn. But as I said, we were up long before the rising of the sun, so it bothered me naught.

Our friendship renewed, Areida readily forgave me for the things I had said before I had left, and though she was desperately curious, she never once questioned why I was there, for she knew I needed to keep it to myself, for the time at least. The days past quickly.

About a month after we came, I opened my magic book to find an entry in Char's diary. I often got these, but this was different.

My father announced today that I would be going to Ayortha. It is only six months, much less time than it was on my first, and only other, visit, but I grieve. This is time that could be better spent searching for Ella. Aubrey and Stephen say that we can search for our 'ogre tamer' as we go, but my hope is dwindling of ever finding her.

Upon discovering from Dam Olga's maid that Ella was a servant in her own home, I was astounded. I could understand her running away. Having to live with those horrid creatures would be enough to drive anyone away, but to have to obey their every command? That would be awful. And she their own family! I didn't even believe Hattie could be so cruel.

But then, she didn't run away from them. She ran from me. That tortures me more than anything. I stay up at night, wondering why she would do that. I had thought we were friends. It torments me.

I am bothered by the fact that she claimed to be married when she in fact was not. Why would she lie about it? Was she embarrassed by being a servant?

Another thing that puzzlers me is that she came to the balls. And why disquise herself and lie about who she was? We were friends. I wouldn't have been happy to see here, I don't think, at first, but I've missed her so. I would've enjoyed talking to her, knowing that it was really with she that I spoke.

Ah, well, I had better go to sleep. We leave tomorrow for Ayortha, and I want to leave at an early hour It is a two week ride, so we need to make full use of the daylight hours.

I stared at the page in shock. He was coming to Ayortha! I had thought I could escape him here, but maybe not.

I consoled myself with the knowledge that he would most likely not come through this town. It comforted me for the next few days. I checked my magic book every day, hoping to see another thing from his journal, for I was still worried, but he was not writing. Or if he was, my book was not showing it. Wither way, I saw nothing more about him for some days.

We will near the inn that we had stayed at on our return journey the last time in several days. The one where the girl asked of Ella. I am not sure I want to return there, for I am afraid of her asking more questions, but my men say we should, for they greatly enjoyed the food. I agreed, though grudgingly, that we could return there.

Okay, so I redid the chapter! Finally. Lol. I'm so proud of myself-its much longer, I think. (checks) Okay, so maybe about a half page longer. But still, not bad, right? Anyway, its improved (I hope) now, so it should be much easier to read.