Chapter One

"There has to be a way to stop that wedding." Viscount Arthur Mabrey thought as he sat in his prison cell, which was located on the outskirts of Genovia. He never cared about how anything affected his nephew, Nicholas. All he thought about was himself and getting the royal crown, which is now in the hands of Mia Thermopolis Renaldi.

"I need a plan." He thought while sitting on the cot in the corner of the cement and dull looking cell. "Maybe if I take away the one thing Mia cares about most… maybe it will show her something. Well of course it can't be Nicholas… even though it would for sure stop the wedding. No, it would be to hard. I need something better…."

His thoughts moved away from his plan and back to the day he was arrested. It was the day Mia was supposed to marry Andrew Jacoby, but backed out with the encouragement of her grandmother Clarisse, who told her to follow her heart. Andrew was not Mia's true love. Then Mia told Clarisse that even though she didn't get her fairytale ending, it didn't mean that Clarisse couldn't either. Clarisse knew exactly what Mia meant. That day, Clarisse and Joseph got married. Which made Arthur boiling mad because he didn't think they deserved it after what happened to him.

Arthur came back to reality. He got up and crossed the room looking at the barred window. He figured out what Mia cared about most:

Clarisse.

"I think it's time to use my one call. To phone my old friend Doug." Arthur said quietly.


Back at the palace Clarisse and Joseph were just waking up. Clarisse slowly opened her eyes and saw the bright morning sun rising. Then she looked up at her husband, only to find that he had been looking at her the whole time.

"Good morning Darling, did you sleep well?" She asked sleepily.

Joseph put his arm around her. "Yes, I slept fine thank you." Clarisse rested her head on his chest. She always felt the safest in his arms. And there was no place she would rather be.

"So shall we get up?" Joseph said, accidentally ruining the moment.

"I guess so…" Clarisse said sadly. I have some paperwork do to for parliament anyways.

"Shouldn't Mia be doing that now?" Joseph asked.

"Well yes, but she has only been queen for a few days and I need to help her. She is the new queen of my country after all, and I want things to go as well as they possibly can."

"Alright let's get up." Joseph said as her kissed her forehead and got out of bed.

After they changed, they walked downstairs, hand in hand, to the kitchen. As they entered they were greeted by Mia and Nicholas. "Good morning Grandma! Good morning Joe!" Mia said when she saw them coming into the kitchen. She looked at her grandmother and Joe holding hands. She could tell they loved each other. Even just by the way they look into each other's eyes.

"Mia you're up early today. I think you are getting the hang of being a real queen." Clarisse joked. Joseph knew that Clarisse was relieved that Mia was able to keep the Renaldi bloodline to continue ruling Genovia, but he could see in her eyes that she was sad not to be Queen anymore. Clarisse had devoted her life to Genovia for over thirty years. She even thought of Genovia before herself. Including her love life. After her first husband King Rupert died, whom she never really loved because it had been an arranged marriage, she and Joseph realized what they felt for each other. They had to put their feelings aside because first of all, Joseph was Clarisse's bodyguard, and, because Clarisse had to concentrate on Genovia.

"Well, I couldn't sleep." Mia said with a smile. "There is far too much to plan and do before the wedding. I didn't even pick out the perfect dress yet!"

"Don't worry, you will find it eventually." Clarisse said encouragingly. Just then one of the Palace's chefs came up to them. "Would you like anything to eat?" They all ordered their breakfasts and talked for a long time.

Joseph looked at his watch. It was almost lunchtime. "Clarisse needs to take a break. She is overworking and could have a breakdown or something." He thought to himself. He surely didn't want anything to happen to her. So he decided to go to her office.

"Clarisse my dear," Joseph said as he walked into her office. "I think it's time you take a break. You need to eat something and get some fresh air."

Clarisse looked up from her paperwork and smiled at the sound of Joseph's voice. "I'll take a break in a few minutes." Clarisse said, and looked back down and started working again.

"You have been working nonstop all day, you should try to relax and get some lunch." Joseph said as he walked over to her side of the desk. He took the pen out of her hand, placed it on the desk, and helped her out of her seat. No matter how much Clarisse wanted to protest, she couldn't. Though they were married now, she still couldn't help but feel shy when Joseph was close to her. Also, she didn't want to argue with him.

After Clarisse and Joseph had lunch together on the patio they went for a walk around the gardens. The flowers were in bloom, and the weather was perfect for going for a walk. When they got to the center of the garden, Clarisse sat down on a bench across from the fountain that Mia and Nicholas fell into three months before. Joseph sat down beside her and held her hands in his. Even with his slightest touch, Clarisse always felt safe and comforted. Joseph felt Clarisse relax for the first time during her break. He stared into her eyes lovingly. Their eyes were locked in a gaze for what felt like an hour.

Still holding Clarisse's hands, Joseph said "I love you so much. I never knew I could love anyone as much as I love you."

Clarisse smiled softly and said "And I love you. Even more than I loved Rupert. He was my best friend, but you can't find true love in an arranged marriage."

Joseph let go of her hands and wrapped his arms gently around her waist, pulling her closer. Clarisse put her arms around his neck and gazed into his dark brown eyes. He saw passion in her warm blue eyes. He felt like he could never look away. They leaned closer to each other. Close enough that they could feel each other's heartbeat. Joseph kissed Clarisse lightly on the lips. She kissed him back, deepening the kiss very slightly, savoring the moment. As the kiss grew stronger, Joseph rubbed Clarisse's back slowly and softly. Neither one wanted this moment to end.