The ball was the toast of the season. Lords and ladies from all over the kingdom came to dance, to drink, and to make merry.
Prince Arnold watched all of this from his throne. With a heavy sigh, he rested his handsome football head on his hand; he was bored.
Suddenly, the music stopped. The guests began to murmur to themselves in hushed tones. Prince Arnold's interest was peaked.
"What? What's going on?" He asked, stepping down from his throne.
"Don't look now, my brother," The Grand Duke Gerald, said, "But one seriously foxy chick just walked through the door."
Prince Arnold pushed his way through the crowd. "Excuse me, excuse me," He said, squeezing through the mob. "Pardon me. Excuse…wow."
Looking around was the most beautiful girl Prince Arnold had ever seen. Her long blonde hair was the color of sunshine and she was attired in a whitish pink satin gown.
Her sparkling blue eyes met his deep green ones. Prince Arnold met her half way across the ballroom. She curtsied. "Your highness."
Prince Arnold nodded to the band and they began the waltz. Taking the lovely lady's hand, she and Prince Arnold floated across the floor like two doves.
And the more they danced, the more they fell in love. "Lady Helga," Said Prince Arnold, twirling her. "I want you to be my queen. I want to stay by your side for eternity, I love you so much."
"Oh Prince Arnold…" She sighed. The two lovers leaned in to kiss…
The phone rang, startling Helga out of her daydream. She nearly rolled off the bed.
"Criminy!" She shouted, then grabbed the phone. "What?"
"Helga?" Said the voice on the other end.
"Arnold?" She gripped the receiver.
"Yeah," He said. "I just wanted to let you know what time our plane is touching down tomorrow. I know you said you wanted to meet us at the airport in your last email."
Helga relaxed and lay back on the bed. She rested her arm behind her head causally. "Yeah. I can't wait."
"Me either." Answered Arnold. "I especially want you to meet Cozette!"
"Cozette?" Helga sat up. "Who's Cozette?"
"She's really great, Helga. We picked her up in France, and she's been with us ever since!"
Helga frowned. "Oh really?"
"Yeah. She's always so happy to see me. Even if we leave for a day, when we get back she pounces on me, she's missed us so much! Helga?"
Helga was twisting the phone cord with both hands as she said, "I guess you really like this Cozette then?"
"I love her!" Answered Arnold. "She's like my best friend!"
"I thought I was your best friend." Murmured Helga.
"Nothing." She adjusted the phone on her ear. "So, what does Cozette look like?"
"Well, she's pretty small, but Dad says that's normal. She's got big brown eyes and black curly…"
"Yeah, that's great." Said Helga absently. "I guess I'll see you tomorrow."
"Uh, yeah." Said Arnold. "We'll be landing at noon."
Quietly, Helga hung up the phone. "Aw, Criminy!" She flopped back on the mattress. "How could he do this to me?" She rolled over and pulled out her locket. The photo was now of both Helga and Arnold, taken the summer before. In the picture, they were laughing and hugging. "My beloved, seduced by the amour of a French girl!" Moaned Helga. "How I compete?"
Suddenly, she sat up. "No!" She said firmly. "No I will not lose Arnold to some cheese sniffing, oil guzzling, frou-frou fancy pants! I'll get him back! I'll get him back if it's the last thing I ever do!"
The net morning, Helga woke up at eight. Yawning, she rolled over. Written in big red letters on her calendar were the words, "ARNOLD VISITS!!!"
Remembering everything, Helga jumped out of bed. After showering, she selected an off-the-shoulder pink dress. Standing in front of the mirror, Helga brushed the snarls out of her hair and clipped a tiny pink bow to the back of her head. "Wait 'til he sees me!" Helga said, leaning towards the mirror as she put on fire engine red lipstick. As she mascaraed her lashes, she said, "I'll put that little French pastry to shame! Once Arnold sees me," She put the mascara back in its tube and picked up the blush. "He'll forget all about that tart and fall madly in love with me!" Helga cackled. "I'll send her back to her own country with her tail between her legs!"
She was still talking to herself as she started the car. "You'll see!" She put it in gear. "If she wants Arnold, she'll have to fight me for him!" Driving down the street, Helga was oblivious to the stares of other drivers. "That darling little Football Head is all mine! Mine I tell you!" Helga laughed loudly as she ran a stop sign. Horns blared.
At the airport, Helga bought a pack of M&Ms and a magazine. "No one can stand in my way!" She crowed as she paid. "Not Ruth, not Lila, not Cozette," The cashier shook his head as Helga wandered away. "Not even Summer!"
She poured the candy into the mouth. "Watch out, Cozette," She said with her mouth full. "Because you have met your match, Miss Frenchie French French French!"
"Now arriving at Gate CB," Droned a voice. "Flight 96 from…" Helga rushed to the terminal. People wandered into the airport, looking drained and half-asleep. Finally, she saw him, carrying a tote bag and deeply tanned from a month in Greece.
"Helga!" He cried rushing into her arms. "It's so good to see you!"
Stella and Miles followed. "Helga?" Stella blinked. "What are you wearing?"
"This old thing?" Helga acted flattered. "Oh, just something I had lying around the house. Nice isn't it?"
"You look like a prost-Ow!" Stella elbowed Miles before the big man could finish. She smiled and put her hand on Helga's back.
"Remind me to give you some makeup tips later." Stella said gently. "Remember, less is more! Now let's get some lunch!"
As the two teens followed Arnold's parents, Helga crossed her arms and said, "So, where's your little French fry?"
"Oh that's right!" Said Arnold. "Mom, Dad we have to pick up Cozette!"
Pick up? Thought Helga as she followed him to the baggage claim. As they watched the conveyer belt move round and round, Arnold pointed. "There she is!"
Pulling a large carrier off the belt, he set it on the ground and opened the door. Helga turned white, then pink. "That's Cozette?"
Arnold pulled out a wriggling puppy. "Yeah, she's a pure bred poodle! Isn't she great…Helga?"
Coming over, Stella and Miles looked down at the unconscious girl. "What happened to her?" Asked Miles.
Arnold shrugged. "I don't know. Maybe she's allergic."