Disclaimer: The characters, locations etc.in this story, and much of the facts referred to, belong solely to the amazingly talented Meg Cabot. She also goes by the pseudonyms Patricia Cabot and Jenny Carroll. Check out as many of her books as you can and you won't be sorry :).

AN: Ok, i wrote this in one day and am completely clueless as to how good or bad it is so please let me know. I'm sorry if thecharacters are so unlike the way Meg portrays them and if facts and titbits of information are drastically wrong, again, i'm so sorry. I haven't read the books in so long. Too long in fact. Anyway, the idea for this fic was to tell a Michael/Mia story in an alternate universe (much like the PD film does) but with a few events taken from the actual PD series. I hope it all works well together. Please R&R. All of your comments mean a lot to me :). Thanks, VIP x.

Sun 5TH April.

The Loft. 6:30 p.m.

Ok, so tonight I am going to be spending the night at Lily's house. Tina should be coming along too this time. It's pretty much an every-other-weekend kind of thing where us girls get together to catch up on the latest gossip. Anyone would think that we never get chance to catch up everyday in school, which believe me, we do. I suppose there's just too much gossip to keep track off. Like, who knew that Lana Weinberger and Josh Richter were on their eighteenth break? By tomorrow morning they'll probably be back together again, eliciting another much needed gossip session.

Anyway tonight should be a lot of fun. Well, I'm sure it would be if Lily's house didn't also happen to be Michael's house. I mean, how am I expected to act normally when Michael is within 10 metres of me at all times. I really believe there should be a law against best friends having hot brothers. And believe me when I say that Lily's bother is HOT. He's incredibly talented and a whiz on computing and technical stuff like that. He also cares a lot for the environment like I do. He'll even listen to, and sometimes encourage, my rants about the importance of Greenpeace. He agrees that even though I have responsibilities to Genovia, as their rightful heir to the throne (yeah thanks for that one Dad), I should still be able to go and work for Greenpeace when I get out of school. One of the things I like most about Michael is that he's actually nice to me. And maybe it is just because I'm his kid sister's best friend but he genuinely seems to care about my feelings; something that my previous obsession seemed to be absolutely clueless about.

Oh, mom's just called. It sounds like Lars has arrived to take me over to Lily's apartment block. I hope Michael doesn't open the door half naked like usual. Although I love to see his perfectly formed abdomen I don't think I can hide my desire for him much longer and if he were to find out about my 'little' crush I don't think that I could live in this world a moment longer. If Lily was to discover my true feelings for said brother, then I don't think I could even live in this universe!

Lily's Apartment. 8:00 p.m.

My life is so close to being OVER that I can see the white light approaching already. Or that could just be this annoyingly bright energy-saver bulb the Drs Moscovitz have inserted in their bathroom. I've been in here for the past 5 minutes trying to regain some sort of composure before I return to the TV room.

Depending on how you look at it, I was both fortunate and unfortunate to be greeted by a certain shirtless, hot brother as I arrived. As usual, he called me by my surname which some would say was rather cold and impersonal but I think is kind of cute.

'Hi Thermopolis', Michael said. 'Lily's in her room and Tina arrived about five minutes ago, so I guess you're gossip-fest can begin'.

I didn't know whether I was blushing because he knew exactly what we got up to during these sleepovers, or because of the smirk on his face as he opened the door wider and ushered me inside, or even because of his perfect chest, openly on display. Whatever the cause of my flaming cheeks, I knew that I had to find sanctuary in Lily's room as soon as possible.

'Miaaaaaa', Tina squealed as I entered. 'I'm so glad you're here. I have so much to tell you'. If there is one of us who's bound to know all the gossip first hand, it's Tina. She seems to live for the stuff. Lily, on the other hand, may not know the gossip before Tina does but she's the one who can do the most damage with it. Don't get me wrong I love Lily to pieces. I love her as though she was a sister. However, Lily can sometimes be a bit of a bitch. I think it's just her way though. She never seems to really mean anything by her behaviour, no matter how hurt other people might be. I guess by exerting the control that she does it makes her feel more important and involved.

Anyway, before the gossiping could begin Lily chirped in sarcastically, 'God Tina, calm down already. Anyone would think you hadn't seen Mia for the past 50 hours'.

'Hey Lil,' I said giving Tina a sympathetic smile for Lily's sudden outburst. 'So what have we got planned for this evening?' I asked excitedly.

'Well, I was thinking snacks and a movie but we'll have to force my pig-headed brother to leave the TV room first.'

We headed into the kitchen to make some popcorn and drinks to keep us busy during the film.

'I got the Labyrinth out for us to watch if you're both interested. I don't know about you two but give me a bit of David Bowie any day', Lily joked.

'Ok, I can see the appeal a little, but as a life partner goes, I'd say he was getting on a bit now', Tina responded.

I busied myself placing the popcorn into bowls after removing it from the microwave whilst the Bowie debate continued.

'What's your opinion Mia?' Tina asked, just as I was finishing up with the popcorn and moving on to drinks. 'Bowie…hot or not?'

'Truthfully, I'd say not, although he does have a really sexy singing voice. It's the music in the film that attracts me to it so much'.

At that moment, Michael entered the kitchen to get a glass of milk. 'Music in what film?' he asked.

'Not that it's any of your business, but we were just discussing the delights of David Bowie in the Labyrinth, which we intend to watch right now if you'd care to vacate the TV room', Lily stated.

'What you mean, I'm not invited?' Michael feigned his hurt at having been neglected from our little get-together by dramatically splaying a palm across his heart. 'Watch what you like,' he continued, ' just don't expect me to vacate the room for you. It's public domain and I can stay in there as long as I want. Your bedroom on the other hand I wouldn't dream of invading. And for good reason with the smell that seeps under the door.'

'Don't you mean your room, smart ass?' Lily fired back. 'I'm sure there must be things growing in there with the amount of mess you create. Even Maya won't go in there to clean unless she needs to. And even then she only does the bare minimum'.

'Lily, I've got two words for you', he replied.

Lily looked ready to kill. It never ceased to amaze me how quickly these two people could infuriate each other; no matter how different their personalities may be. 'And what might they be?'

'Chill…out', he responded and with that left the room.

'Urgh', she screamed in frustration. 'It's not funny, Mia'.

'I'm sorry, Lil. It just humours me how Michael seems to be the only person who can meet and beat you in verbal combat. The rest of us usually have no chance against you, but watching him, you'd think it was easy to win an argument.' I had tried not to laugh, honestly. It's just that Michael and Lily are like 'cat and mouse', or 'dog and bone'. They chase each other up the wall and are both reluctant to let things drop. Basically, they're two extremely passionate people, which is probably why I love them so much. Ok, maybe love is a strong word for the way I feel about Michael, but I certainly like him a LOT.

We made our way to the TV room, which is where the evening started to go from good to bad. Michael was still in there, probably to make a point to Lily that she couldn't boss him around, but he'd set up the film for us which I thought was very gentlemanly of him. Lily doesn't see Michael for who he really is, not like I see him, because she's his sister. But Michael is genuinely a really sweet and caring guy. Of course I can't really defend him in front of her because then she might catch on to my reasons for doing so. It's just not worth the consequences, and anyway, Michael seems to be doing a perfectly good job of looking after himself.

Lily and Tina sat on one of the settees leaving a space for me next to, God help me, Michael. I think this may be an appropriate time to remind you that Michael was currently shirtless and not a ruler's length away from me. Oh how the world likes to torment me. The film started and everything was fine. I shared a bowl of popcorn with Michael, and Tina and Lily wolfed down the other bowl that I had prepared. It's remarkable how difficult it can be to watch one of your favourite films of all time, when the guy of your dreams smells so good and is so close you can smell the shampoo in his hair but can't sweep your hand through his dark locks as you'd so love to do.

As I sat there, I began to imagine how soft Michael's hair probably was. My hand resting in the popcorn bowl, all thoughts of eating pushed aside, I began to daydream about more than Michael's hair. I thought about the peat-bog depths of his brown eyes and how I could drown in them, the broadness of his shoulders and how it might feel to be wrapped in his arms.

'Mia?'

My thoughts quickly moved onto his lips. Their soft pinkness, smoothness and the shape that they formed as they turned into one of those heart melting grins. Oh, how I wanted him to kiss me with those lips. I'd never had a proper kiss. At least not one that I cared to remember. Whenever my previous boyfriend, Kenny, had kissed me it was always rushed and wet, and…eurgh! I just hadn't wanted to be with him like that. But with Michael, things were so different. It was just a shame that I was three years his junior, his little sister's best friend, and the heir to the throne of a small principality in Europe. Talk about complicated circumstances.

'Mia!'

I was suddenly startled out of my daydream by a loud, commanding voice. It was Michael I hadn't realised I'd zoned out in front of everyone. How embarrassing! Lily and Tina were both looking at me too; Lily a little confused and Tina with a knowing glint in her eye. It was then that I noticed that my hand was no longer leisurely hanging in the popcorn bowl but was snugly enclosed in Michael's own, as he gently tugged on it.

'Erm… I'll be right back', I mumbled as I quickly retrieved my hand and hurried out of the room.

And that's how I ended up in here. Why do I always get myself into these awkward situations? If I had only controlled my passion for Michael I never would have been distracted from the film and zoned out like I did. He must think I'm such a weirdo. I mean, he even had to grab my hand to make sure that I was actually ok. I must have needed a good shaking to actually come back to the world of the living.

Well, I guess I better go back out there and face my fate. It really sucks being me sometimes. Even without the princess thing becoming an issue I still manage to screw things up.

Lily's Bedroom. 10:40 p.m.

So when I went back into the TV room everyone was pretty chilled out about the whole zoning out thing, which I thought was pretty decent of them. Michael tried to take my mind off it by offering me some more popcorn and Tina started to comment on how beautiful Jennifer Connelly's ball gown was. I did receive one snide remark off Lily but that was to be expected.

'Spaz out much, Mia?'

'Yeah, sorry about that. I just needed to put some cold water on my face. I started feeling a little overheated that's all'. It was a feeble excuse, I know, but I had to say something.

We've been in Lily's room for the past half hour 'catching up'. It turns out that Shameeka has been hiding a boyfriend from us all for the past two weeks. Apparently, her parents don't approve of him and think they've broken up, which is why she didn't want to tell us, you know, on the off chance that her parents kidnapped us and tortured the information out of us. I was still offended that she felt she had to keep something from her. I'm one to talk though. I haven't revealed my true feelings for Michael to anyone either. It took me long enough to wake up to them myself. The way I look at it, I should come to terms with those feelings myself before I reveal them to my friends. Although, I often wonder if Tina already knows more than she lets on.

Lily thinks that our Algebra teacher, Mr Gianini, is dating someone. I can see her point; he has been a lot more lenient in his marking lately. However, he does still suggest that I get a tutor to help me catch up to the level that every other freshman student is at. Hey, I wonder if Michael might tutor me. He's awesome with numbers and all that kind of stuff. Only, then I might do something stupid and he'll know I like him and never speak to me again.

'So Mia, have you decided that any of the boys at Albert Einstein High School are worth your time of day? Any crushes developed?'

What? Did Tina really just ask me that? And in front of Lily. She so knows!

'Er…er…I hadn't really thought about it,' I lied. To tell you the truth, I think about Michael all the time. It's actually becoming quite a nuisance. In princess lessons, Grandmere gets extremely frustrated when I don't pay attention, and since I developed feelings for Michael I get distracted A LOT.

Noticing the crimson shade of my cheeks Lily quickly caught on to the fact that she was missing something. 'There is someone isn't there, Mia? Who is it? Why didn't you tell me?'

Oh my gosh! What do I do? What can I tell her? Certainly not the truth.

'Mia, quit writing in that thing and answer my questions!'

Drs Moscovitz's Bathroom…again. 10:50 p.m.

Okay, so I ran again, but I figure they're getting used to it by now. Wait, what's that noise. Is that the shower?

Oh my God. OH MY GOD! THERE IS SOMEONE IN THE MOSCOVITZ'S SHOWER, and I've just locked myself in the bathroom with them.

Oh no. I just pulled on the handle but it's jammed. OH MY… I'm LOCKED in the bathroom whilst someone is in the shower. Breathe Mia. Breathe. I've tried the door but it just won't budge.

I need t….

Still Drs Moscovitz's Bathroom. 11:00 p.m.

Imagine my luck when Michael popped his head around the shower curtain. Of all people, it had to be Michael. Although he's managed to calm me down somewhat, I still can't believe how unlucky I am. Is it possible to have a mid-teen breakdown because I think I'm going to have one?

To say that Michael was surprised to see me in his bathroom as he showered would be the understatement of the century. I'm sure his flushed face was mirrored on my own. I apologised profusely and explained that I had been unaware that he was showering and had also attempted to leave, and would have done so if the door had been cooperative and opened. Despite his discomfort he laughed a little at our predicament.

'Just give me a moment to make myself decent and I'll give the door another try for you', he stated simply and grinned at my obvious mortification. He already looked pretty decent if you ask me.

I turned around, allowing him to dry off and put his pants back on. He stepped out of the shower and walked towards the door. I almost jumped a mile as he brushed past me. How is it that one person can have that much of an effect on me? I don't care how attractive he is, he shouldn't be able to make my heart flutter that fast or the butterflies in my stomach attempt to break free.

Still the door didn't budge. Michael turned to look at me apologetically and I realised how stupid I must look. 'I am so sorry, Michael. I had no idea. I'm such an idiot sometimes. What must you think of me?' I was getting really panicky and I think he started to notice.

Placing both his hands on my shoulder he held me steady and said, 'Mia, relax. It really doesn't matter. Walking in here was an honest mistake. Especially if you came in here in a hurry, like you normally do'. He knows me so well. 'But seriously, try and stay calm. We'll get out of here soon enough. It just looks like the handles got stiff in the heat from the shower. I'm sure as soon as the handle is tried on the other side the door will open easily.'

We've now been in here for 8 minutes; the longest, most embarrassing, but oddly pleasant, minutes of my life. Michael hasn't said much. I think he knows that I deal with stressful situations better when I can express my feelings in this diary.

It was then that I heard it- a faint call of my name.

'Lily? Lily! LILY!'

'Mia? Are you in the bathroom again?' she asked, clearly frustrated.

'Yeah, I'm locked in can you try the door on that side for me?'

'What...oh…yeah. Of course.'

The door opened with ease, just as Michael had said it would just minutes before.

'Oh my God. Why are you in the bathroom with my brother? Michael you perve!' Lily screamed.

'It wasn't his fau…' I began but Michael interrupted me, 'God Lily. Get your head out from up your own ass. Mia accidentally walked in here when I was showering and the door got jammed. Chill out already.'

'Mia I am so sorry that you had to witness such a traumatising event as Michael showering. If you need counselling I'm sure my parents wouldn't hesitate to book you in at the clinic, free of charge. It's the least they could do after bringing that into the world.'

'Ha ha,' Michael spat dryly and stomped off into his room.

'Mia, why are you still writing in that thing?'

'It helps me channel my emotions and right now I have a lot of emotions to deal with,' I explained.

'Understood'.

Mon 6TH April.

G&T. 2:00 p.m.

I woke up feeling like sleep had come late the night before. And that's because it had. I couldn't get the image of Michael, with dripping hair and wet skin out of my mind. It was like the image was permanently burnt onto my inner eyelids, tormenting me into restlessness. When I finally did get to sleep, I was woken abruptly by Michael's dog, Pavlov, slobbering on my face, only to come to realise that my dreams had been plagued by images of Michael also.

Bumping into him at breakfast was a little awkward. He was polite as always but the thing that really bothered me was that he greeted me with a "Mia" and not a "Thermopolis". I guess once you've seen someone in the shower your relationship changes and there isn't room for cute terms of address.

The limo to school hadn't been much better. Lily sat between Michael and I and maintained the conversation by herself. To be honest, Lily dominating conversation isn't much different from normal. The main difference was that Michael wasn't arguing with her when she tried to pick a fight.

He's sat in G&T right now working on his webzine, Crackhead. He never ceases to stop impressing me with his creativity and intelligence. He's always writing songs as well. I wish he'd write one about me.

I need to do something to wipe this awkwardness out of the air. Maybe if I ask him to tutor me in algebra he might forget about what happened and concentrate on trying to help me with these sums instead. But if I ask him he might also realise that I like him. You know, it'll just be a friend asking a friend for some help. Ok here goes nothing…

He said yes. Yay!

In Limo- on way home from Princess Lessons. 6:00 p.m.

I arrived on time, I gave my full attention and even completed the task to perfection, but Grandmere still wasn't happy. I'd be surprised if the woman had ever been happy in her life because she'd certainly never been happy as long as I'd known her.

Today I leant about speech making and remarkably I'm improving quite well. I didn't fidget once this time and the need to vomit barely bothered me. We also discussed the 'Royal Genovian Annual Ball' that would be taking place in a matter of weeks. Grandmere wants me to go to a few fittings with different designers to find the perfect gown. Paolo, as usual, will be doing my hair and make-up.

I started to think about the perfect date and my thoughts strayed to Michael once more. I really need to do something about controlling my hormones and move on already. Michael and I will never happen. I get the distinct impression that Grandmere is trying to fix me up with Prince William. And ok, he's handsome and everything, but I don't want to live in England and he is in no way, shape or form as perfect as Michael Moscovitz.

Speaking of Michael, our first tutoring session is going to be in tomorrows G&T. I asked him if it was going to interrupt his working on his webzine but he said it was fine to focus on my Algebra for the first half hour so I stopped feeling guilty. You know, it's incredibly nice of him to help me study, especially with all the other stuff he's got to do. I guess he really is as great a guy as I make him out to be.

Ah, home sweet home. I'm so glad to be back. I think I'll just get into my PJs and laze around this evening. Seeing Grandmere on a daily basis tends to take it out of you.

'Bye Lars,' I said as I hopped out of the limo, 'I'll see you tomorrow'.

'Goodnight Princess'.

Aww, it's so sweet how he still calls me that.

Lily's Apartment. 7:00 p.m.

My life is over, and I mean OVER. Think of the ridicule. Think of the incessant torment and name-calling. As if I wasn't enough of a social retard before. Now I have this to add to my list of abnormalities. My mom, Helen Thermopolis, is DATING my algebra teacher. My MOM is dating MR GIANINI. The world has ended. Hell has frozen over.

How is such a thing possible? I mean, I noticed that they got on fairly well at the last teacher-parent conference, but I would never have seen this coming. And the worst thing is how I caught them. As I entered the Loft I caught them in a tight embrace on our couch. They were frenching each other like it was their last day alive. If only it was my last day alive. I don't think my existence can cope existing anymore.

I was so shocked that I choked out a strangled cry. Sure enough they both looked up to see me in the doorway.

'M…Mia', my mom replied, 'We were just…just…'

'I gotta go,' I mumbled and raced out of the door. I'd certainly been doing a lot of running recently.

I didn't know what to do. I couldn't go to my dad. I know he and my mom broke it off years ago but I think he might be quite hurt to discover my mom's seeing someone else. Grandmere would be so unconcerned there was no point going to her. That left Lily, which is why I ended up here for the second time today.

Michael helped a lot when I arrived. I was a little disappointed to see that he was wearing a shirt this evening. He took one look at my tear-streaked face and immediately led me inside and sat me down.

'Mia, is everything ok?' he questioned.

'I, I don't know. I mean, NO, everything is so messed up'.

'Mia, what happened? You look awful', Lily asked, having just entered the living room to see what all the commotion was about.

I was so confused it took me a while to respond, but Michael helped to calm me down by soothingly rubbing him thumb against my hand. If I was in a normal state of mind I'd have been surprised by the gesture. 'My mom, she…she and Mr Gianini...' I couldn't go on.

'Your mom and Mr G what?' she urged.

It was so difficult to admit it to myself, never mind to anyone else. I just wished it wasn't true, so desperately. A fresh batch of tears burst from my eyes. What would they think of me?

'Mia, what are you so wound up about? Spit it out already!' Lily demanded.

I just shook by head frustratingly. 'I can't'.

'It's ok, Mia. You just tell us when you're ready'. Michael said. I looked up into his eyes to see genuine concern. He looked so worried and I just wanted to make him smile again. Oh gosh, what if he thought a member of my family had died or something. After all I was acting as if the world had ended, and maybe it felt that way to me, but my mom had only gotten a new boyfriend. I really needed help getting things put into perspective. So I decided to tell them.

'They're an item. A couple.'

'WHAT?' Lily screamed. 'That's so weird. I knew he was seeing someone! Didn't I say so? I knew there was a reason for our improvement in grades. Since when Mia?'

'I don't know how long, ok. I just caught them kissing when I got home from princess lessons and ran out of there as fast as I could. How could she do this to me? As if I'm not a big enough freak already'.

'You're not a freak, Mia', Michael stated simply.

'Oh yeah, just look at me. I'm a princess of a small principality in Europe where I know no one and have little interest in living one day. I have serious parental issues probably stemming from my psychotic Grandmother. The whole school think I'm a loser and with good reason. I can't even go to school without Lana and the popular crowd making some snide remark about my appearance. With mom and Mr G together they've got even more ammunition to throw at me. Now tell me I'm not a freak, Michael', I ranted.

'You're not a freak, Mia. You're unique, and that's what makes you special. Lana and her friends are all the same, why care what they think of you? The fact that you get to run a whole country may be a huge responsibility but it's a great opportunity to make a positive difference in the world. How many kids our age get that chance. Your parents may no longer be together but at least they still get along. My parents, although still married, argue like cat and dog. Your Grandmere, ok she's a little odd, but you are nothing like her and never have to be. Finally, these things with your mom and Mr G, well, have you considered the fact that they make each other happy. Plus, you'll never struggle in algebra again and everyone will love you because he'll start marking everyone's work more leniently. There are so many positives Mia, don't focus on the negatives. Plus, if anyone bugs you, you've got Lily and me as back up'.

I sniffed back more tears and said, 'Thanks Michael'.

'Are you going to be ok, Mia?' Lily asked me quietly from the corner of the room. 'You can stay here tonight if you want but you better let your mom know where you are.'

I thought about how easy it would be to hide out at Lily's forever but decided that the sooner I went home and talked things through with my mom, the better.

'Thanks, Lil, but I think I'll go home to sleep. I need to sort things out with my mom. Maybe I could stay for a little while though'.

'Sure thing. I've got to work on the next episode of Lily Tells It Like It Is but you're welcome to come and help. I'll just be in my room', she finished and left the living room.

The Loft. 11:00 p.m.

It's been one incredible evening. I can't believe how much can change in only 24 hours. I spoke to mom when I got in and, although I'm still not 100 comfortable with her dating one of my teachers, I've accepted that this may be just one of those things I have to give a go. She seems to like him a lot, if how she was talking is any indication. We're going to get together at the weekend and go out for a 'bonding' meal. I'm a little worried about it but it's ok because she's agreed to let me bring a little support in the form of Michael. I told her that I'd only give her and her new boyfriend a chance if she gave my new boyfriend and me a chance.

That's right. Michael Moscovitz and I are an item. We are officially a COUPLE as of two hours ago. I still can't believe it.

Mia Thermopolis + Michael Moscovitz

True Love

Michael Moscovitz, Prince consort of Genovia. That sounds just perfect if you ask me.

After Lily had left the room I still felt a little troubled about the events of the evening. Michael stayed with me in silence for a few minutes as I gathered my thoughts. After a while though he broke that silence.

'Come with me,' he said, grabbing my hand and leading me to his bedroom. Despite what Lily had said, I found that Michael's room was perfectly organised and tidy. This was the first time that I had been in such a personal space, and I revelled in the fact that Michael had chosen to share his space with me. The walls were covered in posters of numerous rock bands and several consisted of solar systems and star names. His shelves were filled to the brim with computer pamphlets, novels, CDs and textbooks. His computer was turned on and looked like an integral part of the room. His bed was neatly made and it was there that he sat me down. I continued to gaze around his room as I learnt more about Michael than I had ever come to find in the ten years I'd known him.

He went over to his closet and pulled out his guitar. 'I want to play something for you. I think it'll make you feel a bit better. Or at least I hope it will.'

He sat down on his desk chair and turned to face me. The song he played was steadily paced (not too fast and not too slow) and he began to sing in the sweetest, softest voice I had ever heard. It was at this moment that I knew I'd fallen and I'd fallen hard. I loved Michael Moscovitz and there was nothing I could do to change that.

The song was called Tall Drink of Water and spoke of a girl that was amazing but didn't realise just how perfect she really was. It all ended a lot sooner than I would have liked and Michael looked at me, a slightly bashful expression on his face.

'It's about you, you know,' he whispered ever so slightly, but I still caught every word.

'What?' I stuttered. Way to make a guy feel confident Mia.

'The song is about you. I just wanted to tell you how perfect you are. You're not a freak at all, Mia. You're absolutely normal and perfect just the way you are.'

I was so shocked by his words. I mean, I know that he'd said the exact same thing back in the living room but that was before he'd sang a song to me that was written about me. Noticing my confusion he continued explaining himself.

'I like you, Mia. A LOT. And I know it may be a little weird, me being your best friends older brother and all, but I'd love it if you'd agree to be my girlfriend. I mean, that is, if you want to…'

'Michael, when, I mean, how? I don't understand all this. How long have you liked me?' I asked, completely bewildered.

'Since as long as I can remember', he said. 'I'm sorry for saying anything. I shouldn't have. It's just that I couldn't stand to see you putting yourself down like that. I had to show you how wonderful you are',

I smiled despite my nervousness and plucked up the courage to stand up and meet him across the room. I grabbed his hand and squeezed it tightly, gluing my eyes to the floor. 'I'm glad you told me because I like you too'.

I looked up to see Michael smiling back at me. No more worry or confusion in his eyes, I'd finally got to see the smile that I'd been waiting all day for.

'How long?' he asked me cheekily. 'You never said anything.'

'Too long', I replied.

And that was when he did it. He just leaned down and kissed me, and it wasn't rushed and it wasn't wet. It was soft and sensual, just as I dreamt it would be.

We just held each other whilst lying on his bed until it was too late for me to stay any longer. We're going on our first official date on Friday evening, provided Grandmere doesn't keep me in princess lessons for too long. He's also agreed to come as my date to the ball even though he detests such formal events, I don't care what Grandmere has to say on the matter.

I called Lars and he shouted at me for a little while for having left home without telling anyone where I was going but promised to be there to get me as soon as possible. I said bye to Lily in the hallway and the same to the Drs Moscovitz for being so hospitable in my time of need. The fact that I was holding Michael's hand was a clear signal that we were now more than just friends. And if that didn't signal enough, what did was when he leaned down to kiss me goodbye on the doorstep. As I left, the last thing I saw was his family looking confused and he looking ecstatic. I felt exactly the same.

Maybe living a little longer in this world won't be such a bad thing after all.

FINIT