Yeah, I haven't updated this in forever, but maybe that's just because I've gotten not a single review. *glares good-naturedly at readers* 0.o

Disclaimer: I own nothing but my own characters. Anything you recognize as C.S Lewis' is… Well, C.S Lewis'.

}-{

"May I have this dance, Milady?" A handsome young man was bent over Essabelle, his dark hair falling across the shadowy eyes that sparkled with mirth. Mathab smiled, showing perfect white teeth against deeply tanned skin, a reflection of her own.

She smiled back, and took his offered hand. "Yes, you may, dear Brother." Her long wine coloured skirts fell heavily around her legs as she stood, and Essabelle's own shady hair snaked down to her waist. Multiple tiny braids wound their way from her temples to a knot on the back of her head, accentuating the smoky effect playing out her sensitive eyes and pulling the heavy mass of thick curls back.

The party was a lively thing, held in the home of the Tisroc, and was one of the largest parties of the year. Large banners of sparkling and bright colour spanned the large ballroom, starting from the never-ending ceiling down to corners and small groups of exotic plants.

Mathab pulled his sister out onto the dance floor, where couples were whirling and laughing as if there was no care in the world. He looked down at her, placing a hand on Essabelle's waist and grasping the other with her own. She followed his lead along to the heavy beat of the music, feeling the rhythm in her chest.

They danced for a long while, talking about nothing and everything before finally admitting that both were tired and needed sustenance. Essabelle took Mathab's hand to lead him over to a long table laden with food and drink. "That was a nice dance, Brother." She smiled, reaching for a goblet of a deep burgundy coloured wine. Well, tried to. His hand still captured her dominant one,

He let go of her hand then, and reached for his own glass. "Yes it was, dear Sister." Mathab's smile was known around here, as was his charm. Luckily, Essabelle was safe for fear of incest and the fact that she didn't find him that bloody attractive.

The party had begun to wind down now, and most of the court and invited were leaving as Mathab spoke again, "Well, I think that I am going to retire, and you should as well, Essabelle. May I escort you to your chambers?"

"Yes, I suppose you're right." She said, setting down the glass and gathering her skirts. Essabelle smiled at his offer, but politely declined and made her way to her rooms herself. The corridors were dim, and by now the festivities had died to leave the palace in slumber; save for a few servants and the siblings.

Her fine shoes made sounds that barely echoed off of the walls, and the rustle of her skirts were only a bit louder than that. Essabelle's shadow was following her as she moved, but vanished as she reached the well-lit corridor that approached her room. She pushed the door open, reminding herself that she must get a servant or handyman to oil those hinges, and stepping inside.

A great-canopied bed lay in the centre, the dark violet drapes cascading down to the floor- flowing over gold coloured covers to rest on a dark rug spanning most of the large room. A vanity was directly across from the foot of the mattress, next to a huge mahogany wardrobe that held an assortment of clothing for every occasion you could think of.

The rest of the wall space was taken up by a countless number of books shelved in good pine and worn from reading, along with a few abstract paintings. Essabelle moved wearily over to her partition, stripping the gown form her tired form and tossing it carelessly over the top. Left in only her camisole a few moments later, she made sure that her hair was brushed exactly one hundred times until it covered her shoulders in a blanket of crimson.

A good bed is all the more welcoming when you're exhausted, Essabelle realised as she sunk deeply into the full blankets and closed her eyes. Sleep didn't come quickly, and she was left there to think. It wasn't a lot that went through her head, but it was made around a simple thing. Essabelle was to embark on a journey to Cair Paravel tomorrow, or today for that matter, to stay with her cousin Prince Caspian and possibly become one of the Court that resided there, but she wasn't really looking forward to it.

}-{

The early morning sunlight was blocked by thick, heavy curtains, so it was a timid knock on the door that woke Essabelle up. "Come in.." She mumbled, rolling over in the nest that had formed in the middle of the bed during the night and curling up into a tighter ball.

"Miss, you're going to be late." A dryad named Tekla said as she scurried over to Essabelle's wardrobe, quickly pulling out an older dress for the crossing to Cair Paravel and gathering other items of need to pack them into a trunk she'd dug out from beneath a pile of books moments ago.

Essabelle groaned, but lurched herself upright to commence getting dressed. Once she had a clean camisole on, Tekla cinched her corset tightly, and pulled the overdress down over Essabelle's head and left her to gather the rest of her things. Minutes later, she made her way downstairs to the dining chambers of the palace to be greeted by her mother and brother.

"Darling!" Prunaprismia cried, pushing her chair back and standing to give Essabelle a hug, kissing her on both cheeks.

"Hello, Mother." Essabelle put on a smile for her benefit and hugged back, releasing only to be grasped by Mathab. "Oh goodness!" She yelped as he bear-hugged her, pushing on his broad chest but getting no response.

"Mathab, let go of your sister." Prunaprisma said, the disdain clearly poisoning her voice as she spoke. Her dislike for her son was vile, though she didn't show it around others. Essabelle was favoured from the twins, though they got along with each other fine, and didn't like her mother. Mathab, on the other hand, was only seeking the kindness and love that their mother wouldn't give him.

He reluctantly let Essabelle down and went back to his seat. Prunaprisma sat down again, and this time Essabelle joined them in her own chair. Breakfast flew by quickly, and soon Mathab and Essabelle were ready to start the journey to Cair Paravel.

}-{

Yeah… I hope you like it! (=

~Solace