It was four years to the day I left Lorielle and my aunt and uncle. I still find myself thinking about them at odd times of the day. Today I was sitting by myself on the windowsill reading some of the many books in my father's library when I heard raised voices down the hall. It sounded as if my Governess and my elder sister Yavanna were going at it again.

"You have no right to tell me what I am to do!" Yavanna yelled," If I want to elope with Sir Galway, then no one can stop me."

"Your father will hear about this," Governess Celianna said sternly "And the consequences will be dire. Mark my words,"

"Consider them marked!" she shouted back.

With that I heard Yavanna's voice fade away as she left the palace on horseback;her long dark hair flowing in the wind behind her. I watched until she was out of eyesight and she disappeared behind a distant hill. Too bad our father, King Selethus was out on a hunting trip and my mother was accompanying him. My door creaked open and Governess Celianna strode in.

"Princess Yavanna has left us to elope with that awful man, Sir Galway," she said, disgusted.

I giggled in spite of myself. "He does look somewhat like an overstuffed pig,"I added with a smile," I don't see why she finds him at all attractive." I had met Sir Galway earlier that month at a ball and recalled seeing Yavanna stuck to him like glue.

Celianna gave a loud guffaw and I gave her a questioning glance that shut her up immediately. "Excuse me Princess, it was not my place."

"Very well, though I want to know what you find so highly amusing."

"Well, my husband looked a lot like that man Princess Yavanna is wanting to marry. Thankfully he died soon after our marriage and I was not forced to be with him for too long."

"Thats very good then, if you had no wish to be with him. I hope that does not happen to Yavanna and that she may always stay away from us."

"That's not very nice," she said reprimanding me.

"What? It's true. May she always stay far, far away."

"Which reminds me. We have to get you ready for the royal ball tonight."

"Come again? No way. Not another ball?"

"Your father sent a messenger to announce it."

"I can't believe him. I'm too young to be married."

"Come come Princess, you have a royal ball to attend tonight and we better start fixing you up."

"Fixing me up? What am I, turkey?"

"Child, it is time for you to stop with your foolish pride. Why, your father was planning on getting you engaged tonight."

"Already? But Yavanna has just left wouldn't it better to wait a week or two?"

"No child, your father was serious when he said that you were ready."

"Celianna, I still have to go save the world from the evil claws of Nalrod. How am I supposed to do that when my fiance is watching me?"

"Dearest child, don't be stubborn, he will not critique you on your will power. He will serve as protection and moral support for you during the journey."

More like a distraction, I muttered to myself. "And if he should fall in battle? Who am I to marry then?"

"Enough questions, you will get the answers when the time comes."

"Come now my dear, let's get you changed. Have you seen the dress you are to wear? Lord Selethus has purchased it especially for you. You will look just beautiful with it on."

Saying that she went over to my boudoir to get my dress. She brought it out with a flourish.

The dress was a bright emerald green with little pretty jewels sewn onto the collar.

"Celianna, it's beautiful. Who all is coming to the ball?"

"Your father has invited many people of importance. I am sure at least one of them will strike your fancy."

After I was dressed, my charming brother Lórindhel came in to escort me do the ballroom. I was really glad I came back to Alcazar and met my siblings. We talked in hushed tones all the way down the stairs. Lórindhel regaled me with jokes about who was approached the doors and waited as the sentry announced our arrival.

"Presenting Her Royal Highness Lilien Lessien Dereon, Princess of Alcazar and her escort, Prince Lórindhel Golradir Dereon."

After they announced my arrival, I went down the stairs and and looked around for my parents. After spotting them at the greeting line, I made my way over to them.

"Ah, Lord and Lady Vanimendlë, may I present to you, my charming daughter Princess Lilien," he said taking my hand and pulling me to his side.

"It is a pleasure to make your acquaintance," I said curtsying as they bowed.

"Oh, and their dashing son, Daeron Vanimendlë," Father continued, "I hear he is a most magnificent dancer."

I curtsied again with a sly smile, we'll see about that I thought.

"Oh. I'm not that great ", Daeron said humbly, blushing a slight shade of pink.

I laughed at his apparent discomfort. " I hope to see you on the dance floor tonight," I said winking.

"If you will do me the honor of saving me a dance," he replied smirking.

As they walked away, I turned to my parents and said solemnly, "I'd love to stay and chat but I must go socialize."

"Try to stay out of trouble, Lily Darling!" I heard my mother call after me.

What? I do try to stay out of trouble. But trouble usually ends up finding me.

I glided away and grabbed a glass of champagne from the nearest waiter. I approached the Duchess of Burginlan and asked about her pet dog she recently adopted. After a bit I left to go to the snack table when my friend Enelya came an tapped me on the shoulder.

"Oh my gosh! It's so good to see you!" I squealed in delight, hugging her,"What have you been up to?"

"Oh just partying girl!" she said taking my right arm.

We wandered over to where Castella was standing by herself and made ourselves visible.

I was in deep conversation about the new improvements in fashion with Enelya and Castella when Castella looked past me and whispered, "Don't look now, but the Duke of Solenfin approaches."

I smiled my thanks and took a deep breath.

"Lady Lilien, may I have this dance?" the Duke asked cautiously. What did this thirty-something year old want to dance with me for? Oh well, I must be courteous. After all it was my coming out ball.

"Actually, it's Princess. And yes, I suppose you may." How absolutely wretched of my parents for making me dance with all the eligible men present.

He hesitantly took my hand and I turned around to roll my eyes at my friends and pretended to gag. They responded with a fit of giggles and had to turn away.

"Princess, if I may be so bold as to say that you look very beautiful tonight."

If I may be so bold as to say you look like a slimy toad dancing on two legs, I thought.

He took my hand in his and placed the other at the small of my back. I placed the other on his shoulder and he led me around the ball room. Soon after the song ended, I was approached by Prince Sarcovy of Ausfland. I am not entirely sure if he ever took dance lessons in his life. He basically jerked me here and there while we ran into so many people. I was more than delighted when a handsome man I hadn't seen before rushed forward to rescue me.

"I believe it is my turn to dance with the Princess," he said clearing his throat.

"Why yes, of course, " Prince Sarcovy said excusing himself. "By your leave, Princess," he said bowing.

Prince Sarcovy left and I found myself in the handsome man's arms.

"Thank you for coming to my rescue..."

"Rollan", he said. "Well, it was nothing, Princess."

"You can call me Lily."

"Well, Lily, what do you say to a stroll in the garden?"

"I would love to!" I replied giddily.

Rollan took me by the hand and we ran outside.

"The stars are so beautiful tonight," I whispered staring up the the starry sky above.

"Sorry, I don't see it. Not when you're standing right in front of me. The epitome of beauty."

"Rollan, don't!" I replied blushing and turning away.

"Whyever not?" he asked concerned, "I only wish to speak the truth."

He pulled me closer to him and brought his face closer to mine. I was so sure he was going to kiss me right then and there. I was so sure of it. My eyes fluttered close by themselves as we continued to move closer

"Princess Lilien," someone called out to me.

Uuggh! , I thought. I looked past Rollan's shoulder and saw Prince Daeron from earlier.

"I am aware that you promised me a dance, Princess."

"The night is still young, Daeron," I said brushing him off, "Maybe later."

"I am terribly sorry about the intrusion but the last song is being played," he replied unaffected.

I sighed deeply, "I'm sorry, Rollan, but I must leave you now," I said stepping away from his embrace.

"Maybe we'll see each other soon," he said consolingly.

I smiled and nodded. I had promised Daeron and I do not go back on my word. I turned to him now and saw that his arm was extended towards me. I took it and allowed myself to be swept away.

"Princess, do you know who that was?" Daeron asked in hushed tones.

"Why yes, his name is Rollan."

"Rollan Trachveres," he added, "If you marry him, he becomes King over you."

"What! That wretched man!" I gasped. "Thank you so much for telling me this, Daeron."

"Shall we dance Princess?"

"Yes, I suppose so."

I am a complete flirt but I don't love easily. That all ended when the first boy I fell in love with, rejected me, back when I was thirteen.

With that, we danced the next three dances together until I was exhausted and wanted to go to bed.

I looked around for my parents but couldn't find them. Daeron went to get us some drinks but I didn't wait for him to get back. I snuck out the back door and headed for the nearest guard. I asked each one of them until they told me where he was, in his study.