Note: This is my first attempt at writing, and no I don't own the Kaleido Star series or characters, so don't sue, you wont get anything out of it. English is not my first language so don't have me shot if it's not perfect and I hope you enjoy.

Thoughts are in Italic

A Phoenix Reborn

"Sora… SORA!" yelled a petite redhead chasing after another red haired oriental woman.

"What is it Rosetta?" replied the Japanese girl with a warm but puzzled expression.

"Kalos just called from his office and he's looking for you." answered Rosetta.

"hmm I wonder what he wants… Ill go check it out, thanks Rosetta." Said Sora as she took off in a hurried pace. Rosetta waved her off with a slight blush on her face.

Sora ran around the corner waving at the men and woman that made up Kaleido Stage's crew who where as usual hard at work. "Hello Sora," "Good work on last nights show Sora." yelled the crew at the running Kaleido star.

"Arigato" replied Sora as she somersaulted over a tray of paint cans that were laid out in the hall way. Soon Sora entered the owner's office with the ever stoic Kalos behind his desk.

"Is there something you needed from me boss." said Sora as she took a seat at Kalos's desk. I wonder what he wants, my two week long vacation is going to start soon. I hope he's not trying to jip me out of it again.

"I just received a call this morning from Layla and she…"

"WHAT, you got a call from Layla?" interrupted a now very excited Sora "Its been nearly a month since we last talked, I wonder how she's doing."

"If you let me continue talking I'll tell you Sora." retorted Kalos with a slightly amused expression on his face.

"Oh sorry." replied a now blushing Sora. It's been so long since I last saw Layla. I know it's only been a month but it seems like forever. The last time we were together was when I realized that I… that I..

"If there are no more interruption, she wanted to know if you would be willing to come to Boston this weekend, she figured with the your break you would be free."

"Of course I'll always be free for Layla-san." replied Sora as she turned to the window and stared at the sun that was now dipping into the ocean's horizon.

Kalos broke Sora gaze with a slight clearing of the throat "well then if it's agreed, there is nothing more to discuss"

" Of course I'll leave you be boss," Sora got up and headed to the door.

"Oh and Sora."


"Have fun." Sora was somewhat stunned by her bosses uncharacteristic show of consideration.

" I will." Sora sprung from the chair and left the room with an extra bounce in her step.

Boston one week ago

A lady in her mid thirties sat at a desk writing on a piece a of legal paper when there was a knock at the door. "Yes, please come in."

"Hello Dr. Everett I believe we had an appointment." said a beautiful blonde woman in her early twenties. She then proceeded to stand in front of the desk where Dr. Everett sat. She had on a nicely tailored white suit top with a matching business skirt, and she also wore a pair of sunglasses with a serious expression on her face.

"Yes of course, Ms. Hamilton please take a seat and lets get to business."

"Thank you." said the blonde as she sat down and took off her sunglasses revealing a bright shade of blue. The doctor was somewhat surprised at how attractive this woman was. Before the meeting the only thing she really knew about the woman was listed in the medical records that accompanied a series of X-rays. Sure she saw plenty of X-rays but she couldn't even begin to guess how this woman, who should have been a model, would receive such extreme injuries.

"So you are Ms. Layla Hamilton. My office was faxed your medic profile but before we discuss that my I asked how you got your injury in the first place."

Layla simply gave a sad smile. "Yes I used to be a star of the Kaleido stage, it's a form of circus where we perform acrobatic stunts in performances."

Layla's name finally dawned on Dr. Everett, "Wait your part of the team that did that, oh what was it called…. the legendary maneuver, Yes that's it, and from what I remember it was really something."

"Yes, me and another performer named Sora did that act, my injury was caused during our strength training, it was only damaged severely during the maneuver itself." responded Layla with a sad expression

"I could tell, I received one set of x-rays that showed some ligament tearing but the ladder section of x-ray's show a crushed shoulder, it's a wonder you can still use the arm, and what may I ask where you thinking, why did you continue to destroy your shoulder, your doctor must have warned you that if it got worse it would be permanent."

After hearing this Layla produced an even more serious expression, " It was something I had to do doctor. I can't really put into words just how Important it was for me to do it. It wasn't just something I could have stopped, I had to perform the legendary maneuver at all cost."

"well then it seems the cost was ruining your shoulder." responded Dr. Everett evenly.

Layla dropped her serious expression. For months she had been trying to find the new her. From working on Broadway to doing movies and other activities in the hopes of finding something that would fill her with the same completeness she received when she was on the stage. Even being on the stage in Broadway didn't compare. The applause and cheers were the same, but she would always feel empty like something was missing, something very important. Layla suspected what that something or rather someone was, but she was terrified to admit it. Layla was never very good at relying on people, especially since the death of her mother. Only recently, due in large part to that someone, was Layla able to start relying on others. It was because of that someone, Layla was sitting in front of Dr. Everett. In the last two months since she performed the "Phoenix" on Broadway, Layla had been in a slump. She went through her day to day routines without any feeling, and her thoughts constantly turned to the Kaleido Stage. It was always at the root of her thoughts, and she couldn't help but feel like it was calling out to her. Layla knew something had to change in her life or she would fall back in the same depression that afflicted her before The Phoenix play. As if by fate, Layla read an article in the New York times about a young doctor who was experimenting with radical ligament and bone grafting surgery. Something akin to hope started burning in Layla, what if the surgery could be applied to her shoulder? After a year away from the true stage that made Layla's body come to life, there was a small chance she could use her shoulder again to perform the necessary routines required for playing at the Kaleido stage. It didn't take her long to send her medical data to Dr. Eva Everett with the hope that something could be done. She waited patiently for a reply and two days ago she received a call from the doctor's office asking for a personal meeting. After arriving in town she went to Boston regional medicine where she was now facing Dr. Everett's questioning.

"Maybe the cost isn't something I have to bear much longer doctor. I was told to come here for a personal consultation. Does that mean you can do something for me?" said Layla as she snapped out of her revelry.

Dr Everett understood the desperate look in Ms. Hamilton's eyes and decided to cut out the small talk. "You must understand Ms. Hamilton that your case is quite severe, the ligaments connecting your shoulder have been severed and even under that is a shattered bone structure that is just now starting to heal properly."

"Does that mean you can't do anything for me?"

"Under normal procedures, no, but this isn't a normal procedure." answered Dr. Everett as she cleared her throat, " What I'm getting at Ms. Hamilton, is that I think it might be possible to repair the damage to your shoulder, but even if, and I do mean IF the operation is a success you'll need weeks of physical therapy before you can get full strength back into the shoulder."

Did she just say what I thought she said! "Wait, are you saying that you could heal my injury Dr. Everett." now Layla appeared animated, and Dr. Everett couldn't help but smile

"That's exactly what I'm saying but it's a dangerous surgery. Since your shoulder has already repaired itself as best as it could, we have to tear down the muscles in order to perform the operation. Then we have to use electrolyte stimulation on the muscle fibers to get them to grow back to normal lengths, and the same applies to the bone. It's never been done before, but the research is sound and I think I can make it work." Dr. Everett stood up and approached Layla. "I'm asking you are you willing to take the risk?"

"You didn't even need to ask that doctor, because there isn't really a choice in this matter. If I can return to Kaleido stage I'll gladly take that risk even if it is dangerous with a small margin of success."

"Well then, I applaud your bravery Ms. Hamilton. Ill schedule your operation ten days from now so I need you to get all your affairs in order. Oh and in case I forget, Is there anyone that can be here for you during your recovery time, I'm asking because it may take up to a week post operation, and with the medication you'll have a hard time by your self." with that said Dr. Everett put Layla's file in her desk draw and turned back to her awaiting her answer.

Someone who can be here for me? My father is out of the question, and I wouldn't impose on my maids outside of their normal duties which only leaves one person. I guess helping me recover after surgery is a good enough excuse to see her again, but since when am I looking for excuses to see her again? And what is this feeling I get when I think about seeing her again. I guess it's best not to think about.

"Yes I have someone in mind doctor"

Present day Cape Mary, Sora's Apartment in the evening

"Sora are you ok?" said an orange-blonde with pigtails.

"Huh….What?" Sora finally looked up from a mountain of clothes that was scattered haphazardly around her bed. She finally noticed the source of the voice standing next to a tall short haired girl wearing a T-shirt and cargo pants. "Oh hi Mia, what are you and Anna doing here?"

"Lets see, for the last ten minutes we watched you tear through your closet like Jonathan with a bucket of fish."

"hmm that was pretty funny, why didn't I think of that." mumbled the short haired brunette.

Mia turned to Anna just in time to see one of her patented introspective posses. "Oh Anna it wasn't that funny, I'm sure you could have thought of one funnier." said Mia as her face turned the color of an apple.

Sora was amused at the display, but she decided to answer Mia's question. "Didn't you hear, I'm heading to Boston to help Layla."

"So what are you going to be helping her with?" questioned Mia.

"hmm, I don't know." Sora started putting her clothes in the open suitcase by the dresser.

It was Anna's turn to question Sora. "wait your giving up your break and going all the way to Boston and you don't even know what kind of help Layla needs?"

"I don't know exactly what I'll be doing, but I know Layla wouldn't have asked unless she really needed me."

Mia turned to Anna "She has a point."

"Ok but explain that." said Anna as she points to the mount Everest of clothes. " If your just going to Boston for two weeks what's with all that attire."

"Well I didn't exactly know what I was going to be doing either so I decided to pack my everyday clothes, but what if we go some place formal, I don't want to embarrass Layla wearing my overalls so packed an evening dress. But then I said to my self what if I'm going to help her with a new play and I need my workout clothes." said Sora finally taking a breath. "In the end I kind of panicked and started packing everything."

Both Anna and Mia started laughing at this point. Sora just stood there with her arms on her hips wondering what was so funny. Mia finally gave up her giggle fit. "It funny Sora because we have never seen you so nervous, which is strange considering you did a routine no one said could be done without so much as breaking a sweat."

"I have you know that I sweated just fine for that, and as for now I assure you I'm not nervous." Sora pointed to her face as she attempted to look serious. "Does this look like the face of a nervous person… hmmm does it…does it….does it?"

At this point Anna and Mia couldn't take it anymore and broke out in a new fit of giggles. Sora joined in as she turned around and attempted to bring some semblance of order to her clothes explosion.

I think Mia and Anna have a point, just why am I so nervous about seeing Layla-san again. I know something changed inside of me last time we were together. I finally realized that the feeling that was burning up inside me was a longing to be with Layla. But what does that mean? Am I just longing to be with my true partner or is it something else, perhaps something that has nothing to do with the Kaleido stage? Just what are these feelings that I've never felt before? These things should have been clear since performing the golden phoenix, but I have been more confused than I ever was. Just what is Layla to me? Just what is it that I want her to be… a friend…a partner…or…a

"Sora…SORA." called out Mia for the tenth time.

Sora turned to Mia and blushed. "Sorry kind of spaced out there huh."

"I'll say." said Anna "we could have set Mount Clothesmore on fire and you wouldn't have noticed." Anna then paused and waited for a laugh, when none came she put her head in her palm and began to pout. "Jeeez that wasn't funny at all."

Mia took this as an opportunity and out of nowhere she had her camera in hand and began taking pictures of the sulking Anna while Sora finished up her packing.

Sora's apartment the next day around noon

Sora awoke groggy but rested. Today was the day she would head off to see Layla again, and Sora couldn't help but feel a tingle run down her spine. She got out of bed and went about her daily routine in relative silence. It was the silence that made her reminisce her days warding off Fool's attempts to see her in the shower. Which reminded her to take one before she headed out.

"I can't believe I'm going to say this but I actually miss Fool." whispered Sora as she began to unbutton her night shirt.

"You know Sora that really touched me." came a voice behind Sora in the bathroom. The sound of the voice made her freeze. With her hand still on her top button her right eye began to twitch.

25 minutes later

"Come on Sora, is this any way to treat the spirit of the stage." yelled a blindfolded and tied up foot long fairy laying at the edge of the bed.

Coming out of the bathroom drying her hair, Sora couldn't help but smirk at Fool, after all the little pervert always tried his best. "What exactly are you doing here Fool." said Sora as she began to untie him. "aren't you looking after Rosetta now."

"As much as I enjoy my new respectful charge, I'd rather not be around her when she's practicing with those accursed diablo's." said the now untied spirit of the stage. "Besides, when do I need a reason to visit my good friend Sora, after all are we not good friends Sora?"

"Of course we are friends Fool, but that doesn't explain why you were waiting in the bathroom."

"Hmmm.. well I so rarely get to see the inside of the bathroom because of your insistent need to tie me up, so I was merely sight seeing." retorted the now fidgeting spirit.

"Sure you were foolish perv, but even your antics couldn't ruin my mood right now." after that Sora grabbed a brush off her nightstand and started straitening out her hair, and she did all this while whistling a silly tune.

Seeing Sora's cheerful mood despite her scolding words got Fool intrigued, and if there was anything more enjoyable to Fool than watching women shower, it would have to be intrigue. " I most certainly wonder what has my dear Sora so excited."

"It's nothing Fool." responded Sora as she set down her brush, consequently knocking her keys into a crack behind the night stand. " pooh… Fool could you get those for me?"

"Do I look like a golden retriever? I am the SPIRIT OF THE STAGE."

"If you get them for me there's a bacon flavored biscuit in it for you." responded the now laughing Sora.

"Funny, real funny." said an unamused Fool.

"Fine I'll tell you where the men on the stage crew hide their porn in the snack room."

"Be right back, this should only take me five seconds."

Five minutes later

A very dusty Fool appeared on top of the nightstand with Sora's keys and a disgusted look plastered on his face. "Would it kill you to dust this place every now and then." Fool then dropped the keys and cleared his throat expectantly.

"Thank you Fool, but I was kidding about the porn." said Sora as she scooped up her keys and headed for the door toting her suitcase.

"Humph… like I would care, I just did that out of the kindness of my heart, and by the way where are you going?" called out Fool remembering his earlier intrigue.

"None of you business." remarked Sora as she locked the door and headed out. Fool flew up and found a perch on top of her luggage causing Sora to give him a irritated look. "Feel free to make your self comfortable at my expense."

"Why thank you." jested Fool as he found a perfect spot on Sora's heavy burden. He noted with approval of how Sora's strength training came in handy. "So where are we going."

"There is no we and I'm going to Boston."

"oooh, and what's in Boston? Wait I know, your friend from Japan goes to school there right?

"That's Minami, and that's not why I'm going." said Sora. "But your right, I should look her up while I'm there."

Fool put his hands together in a thinking man pose. " I wonder what could make Sora give up her only break for months….oh well, Sora you left me with no choice." A glowing field began to surround Fool and out of nowhere he produced a crystal ball. "Ah yes I see now. The light of Leo is flickering in the time of transition, and only the bright glow of Sagittarius can sustain its brilliance." The ball and the light faded leaving a smirking Fool. "Yes, I finally see now. You must be seeing Layla in Boston, and it seems she desperately needs your light Sora."

"What is that supposed to mean Fool?" said a now blushing Sora.

Well now Rosetta, I'm going to put my mentoring on hold, because it seems the events destined to unfold are just too good to miss.

"So what is your usually vague fortune telling trying to tell me?" said a now curious Sora as she tugged her suitcase out of the elevator. When Sora received no answer she looked down and noticed that Fool was no where to be seen.

"Your up early today Ken." said Mia as she spotted Ken walking near the aquatic center.

"Oh hi Mia, I'm just exited about showing Sora the new trapeze with the gyro cylinder. It will allow performers to release at varied angles depending on their movements, and I just know she'll be excited."

Mia couldn't help but feel sorry for Ken. Since she first arrived at Kaleido stage, Mia and pretty much everyone except for Sora, knew he had it bad for her. Even though Ken lacked enough confidence to actually ask Sora out, the way he conducted himself made it clear that he liked her. The real reason Mia felt sorry for Ken was because it wasn't that Sora was blind to Ken's infatuation, it just wasn't even an option to Sora. She probably didn't even put Ken in the same category as possible boyfriend, but rather thought of him as a brother. Of course in the end that didn't stop him from trying, and even though Mia was always routing for Ken, recently she began having doubts whether it was ever going to happen. She couldn't even picture Sora with Ken, but the strange thing was she had a hard time picturing Sora with any of the available men she knew.

It's final then. When Sora comes back from Boston I wont rest until she has a boyfriend. I Mia Guillem will be the Kaleido match maker. Hmmm.. I wonder if I should put that on my website.

"Oh Ken, didn't anyone tell you, Sora's leaving this afternoon for Boston."

That wiped the smile off of Ken's face. "B.B..Bo..Boston? Why is she going to Boston and today of all times." This was the day Ken was finally going to tell Sora how he felt. He had it all worked out from showing her the new trapeze to asking her out while on the high rise.

"I believe she going there to help out Layla with something, I don't really know what she doing either." said Mia sympathizing with Ken, she already figured out why he was so exited to show Sora the new trapeze setup.

I bet you finally worked up enough courage to ask her out huh.

"Mia did you say she was going to Boston to see Layla?" asked Ken after he snapped out of his self-loathing.

"Yes why?" responded Mia but she didn't receive an answer, Ken walked off mumbling to himself.

That was weird.

Cape Mary airport one hour later

"Thank you for taking me to the airport Mr. Policeman." said a grateful Sora she approached the terminal.

"Really Sora It was my pleasure, because after all I'm your number one fan." responded a rather large African American man with a kind face.

A professional looking strawberry blonde woman standing next to Jerry cleared her throat at this. "Wait, I thought you were my number one fan."

"Well for Sora I'll be a fan, but for you Kate I'll be a groupie." retorted a laughing Jerry but from Jerry it sounded like a bear growling.

Sora really appreciated the ride the two newly weds gave her. "I can't thank you two enough for your help and I'm glad you could make it on such a short notice."

"Nah it wasn't a problem at all, me and Kate were looking for a new place for the two of us so we were already up pretty early." said Jerry wrapping one of his huge arms around his smiling wife.

Kate rolled her eyes. " Normally it wouldn't have been a problem but since moving in together we need a bigger space, you wouldn't believe the amount of Kaleido stage memorabilia he has."

It was Jerry turn to roll his eyes. "If you organized your big pile of junk you call an apartment maybe we could find room for my stuff."

"I am not that messy, and besides you married me so what does that say about your taste in woman." said Kate as she poked Jerry in the ribs.

Sora watched their antics with amusement. Jerry and Kate were the only couple Sora knew and it was entertaining to see two people so comfortable with each other, but she figured that also had something to do with both of them being childhood friends.

Jerry stared to laugh. "Woman.. don't you know that's assaulting a police officer."

"oooooh, scary police man." jested Kate as she pretended to be scared.

"Ha, I'll have you know I'm all about the law and order." said Jerry as he puffed up his chest.

"Well in this marriage I'm the law and I order you to take me out to lunch." responded Kate leaving no doubt who wore the pants in the relationship.

"Ha… Yes mam." said Jerry as he grabbed Kate and slung her over his shoulder in spite of all the stares they were receiving in the terminal. "The boss wants some chow so we got to go Sora. Good luck in Boston and say hi to Layla for me."

"Thank you." responded Sora to the retreating couple. Kate was still slung over his shoulder and she acted like it was an everyday normal thing. "Bye Jerry. Bye Kate."

"I envy them, I hope I find that kind of happiness someday."

Now boarding flight 101 bound for Boston's Logan International

"well that's my cue, I hope this vocation I'll have more fun than my previous ones, but Layla will be there so I'm sure I'll enjoy it."

In the air above Cape Mary in flight 101. Twenty minutes later

Sora gazed out of the window at the city that became her home.

" It's amazing how much I've come to love Cape Mary and Kaleido stage, and I guess this is truly where I belong. But even then something is still missing before I can truly call it home and that something has been missing for sometime."

Boston same time at the Hilton.

"Mistress Layla, I hate to disturb you but Lady Sora's flight will be here soon. If you'd like, I'll go pick her up my self." said a distraught maid outside of Layla's bedroom in the hotel.

"No that wont be necessary Macquarie I'll go meet Sora personally." said Layla through the door.

Macquarie was less than enthusiastic about this whole thing. She accompanied Layla from Broadway and she new first hand what Layla was volunteering for, and it upset her that the mistress couldn't count on her to be there for her. Macquarie was always jealous of Sora, even when she first heard or her it was usually complaints that her Mistress would spout out, but even then Macquarie knew there was something going on between them. Macquarie had been serving Layla since she was a little girl and she was never animated about anyone since her mother died. No one could bring Layla out of the shell she had built around her self, no matter how much Macquarie tried, Layla wouldn't open up to her let alone anyone else. The only time she would see Lalya truly passionate about something was when it involved the stage. That was until a year and a half ago.

One year and half ago at the Cape Mary Hamilton mansion

"Is there anything you would like to drink mistress." said Macquarie as she stood by her mistress who was staring out the window. It was an impressive view that showed the horizon but most notably it showed glowing star of lights that made up the Kaleido stage. "Mistress… Mistress is there anything you would like to drink" Macquarie tried again after seeing no response from Layla.

Layla finally snapped out of her revelry. "Oh Macquarie, I'm sorry I didn't see you come in." finally Layla turned to look at Macquarie. "If it's not to much trouble I would like some coffee please."

Macquarie left and came back with a coffee just the way Layla liked it. After handing her mistress the coffee, Layla turned around and resumed the same position she found her in. Curiosity got the better of her and she had to find out what made Layla so troubled. "Layla, I mean mistress, what seems to be troubling you."

"Its really nothing to worry yourself about Macquarie."

Normally Macquarie wouldn't be so persistent but she had to find out. "Please Mistress, I'm sure it would make you feel better to get whatever it is off you chest."

Layla took a second to think about it and finally decided to vent her frustration. "Earlier this week Kalos hired some annoying Japanese girl name Sora to Kaleido stage. It's infuriating because not only did she show up late for auditions but she was put into a performances on her first day. She made a mockery of the whole play, she couldn't synchronize with the other performers and she nearly killed herself on the final routine, and after that Kalos had the audacity to tell me that this amateur would replace me someday. If that wasn't the worst, three days ago I overheard her bragging about doing the golden phoenix, my golden phoenix, and when I called her on it she said you would prove it to me today." finally Layla took a breath and had a sip of her coffee.

For a woman who knew Layla since she was a kid was truly shocked to see how animated Layla had become, she had never seen her so mad at someone before. "So what happened mistress?"

At the question Layla got very quiet again and took several seconds before she answered. "She did it."

Macquarie wasn't sure she heard her mistress correctly. The golden phoenix was one of the hardest acrobatic stunts to pull off and she couldn't believe someone other than Layla could pull it off. "Excuse me mistress but what did you say?"

"I said she did it, not perfectly because she couldn't catch the bar in the end, but it was the golden phoenix, that much I could see." said Layla quietly. "It just really surprised me and I had to recognize her efforts, she nearly killed her self getting as much as she did."

Macquarie didn't know how to respond to this, because this news also shocked Macquarie, but before she could respond Layla beat her to it. "Thank you for listening to me, your right it did feel better to get it off my chest. I was surprised today by Sora and caught me off guard, but I wont let it happen again." with that said Layla walked towards the gym to get normal workout before sleep.

As Macquarie stood there she couldn't help but feel a tingle run down her spine. Mistress Layla wasn't never that passionate since her mother died and she couldn't help but feel a little jealous. This Sora brought out a part of Layla that Macquarie thought was dead, and it pained her to know It wasn't her that brought that out. Macquarie had enough, she was sure it was just a one time thing, Layla would be back to normal in the morning and she wouldn't ever hear about this Sora ever again.

Present day

"Oh how wrong I was. That feeling I had back then wasn't just me overacting, it was a prelude to Sora becoming an important part of my mistress's life. Whether Layla realizes it or not, Sora has become vital part of her life, and it scares me that someday mistress Layla, MY mistress Layla wont need me to support her anymore."

"Are you sure you don't need me to pick her up for you?" Macquarie asked one last time.

"Yes I'm sure, why don't you take the rest of the day off." came Layla's detached voice on the other side of the door.

Understanding she was not needed Macquarie walked off to return to her room.

Inside Layla's room

Layla was sitting at the vanity desk with a towel wrapped around her naked form putting the last touches of her makeup on. After finishing her lipstick she got up and stared at several outfits sitting on the bed.

"This is ridiculous, why can't I decide on one? I'm just picking up Sora so why does it even matter?"

"Because you want to look your best when meeting the one that sets your body aflame." came a feminine voice behind Layla.

Hearing another voice in the room caused Layla to let out an undignified scream all the while spinning around with her hands firmly grasping the towel around her naked body.

"Who the hell said that?" yelled Layla as she scanned the room seeing no one around. "Maybe I'm finally going crazy." sighed Layla clearly thinking she imagined it.

"Love can make you crazy sometimes madam." came the voice again.

This time Layla spun around and stared at the vanity desk where the voice came from and there sitting on top of it was a beautiful woman with silver hair wearing a Victorian evening dress. The strangest thing about her was that she was only a foot tall and wore a jeweled masquerade mask over her eyes which Layla could see were red.

"W.ww What are you?" said Layla with an uncharacteristic stutter.

The sliver haired woman stood and curtsied. "Forgive me for my late introduction madam, but I am Passion the spirit of romance."

To be continued.