Disclaimer:::: I do not own anyone or anything from The Princess, I only own Derrick (who is coming later) and Ann Marie

Preface: Facing the Music

"I still don't understand why there has to be a new princess!" I crossed my arms over my chest and glared angrily at my father, Prince Nikolai.

He ran a hand through his thick dark hair. "It's the law, Ann Marie. You know that as well as I do."

"I don't want her to come live with us." I uncrossed my arms and shoved them into my pants pockets.

"Neither do I, Honey, you know that, but she's coming, so you might as well just face the music and accept it."

I picked up a picture from off of my dad's desk. Smiling up at me was a sweet looking redhead in her twenties. Her name was Shelby Parker, and she would be marrying into the House of Markham. I tossed the picture down on the desk. "What if she's horrible?" I asked quietly.

"Ann Marie, stop it. She's a nice girl, I can promise you that. You read the letters that she sent." Nikolai said in a firm tone that I knew meant not to argue any further.

But I did anyways. "That doesn't mean anything!" I could feel tears starting to well up inside my eyes. I hated crying, especially in front of people. I was already upset, and the coming tears were just making me more and more angry. I squeezed my eyes shut to keep the tears from falling out. I pictured the girl in the picture (I wasn't going to think her name because that would be like giving her permission to come in and ruin my life) and my dad together, walking in the garden. They stopped under a tree and she pulled him into a hug, smirking at me over his shoulder. Pain wrenched my heart, as painful as the day my mother had died. My chest tightened up as I tried to erase the picture from my mind. A hot tear slid slowly down my cheek. "I hate her!" I screamed before whipping around and running out of the room.

I angrily swiped tears away as I ran down the hall and up the stairs to my bedroom. I slammed the door behind me and threw myself face-down onto my bed, letting the dreaded tears stream freely down my face.

As I lay there and sobbed my heart out, I angrily scolded myself in my head. Come on, girl! Stop being such a drama queen! This is stupid! Crying never solved anything!

I finally sat up and took a deep breath. No more tears, Ann Marie! I went over to my dresser and picked up a framed picture. It was of me and my parents. We were sitting in front of a waterfall, laughing.

"There's a girl coming to take your place, Mom." I whispered. "I don't want her to, though. I don't want anyone to forget you." I bit my lip and set the picture down.

Not knowing what else to do, I started to pray.

"Oh, Lord, I miss her so much! Why did you have to take her away from us? And why does that….that girl have to come live with us? And marry my dad?" I paused, realizing how whiny and unthankful I must be sounding. "Please help me to control my temper, Lord. I know that it's not right to hate people, especially someone that I haven't met."

I sighed and slipping into my pajamas. I said a quick prayer before falling into a peaceful, uninterrupted sleep.

To be continued…