Chapter 1: Pretty Boy

"But why must you leave now, in the middle of the semester?" my friend Molly asked as we sat in the living room of the girls wing. The Academy had kept girls and boys living areas separated for as long as the old-fashioned boarding school had existed. I shrugged.

"I suppose that after my mother died my uncle decided it was time I relocate to his home in the country," I told her as I ran my fingers through my long blonde curls. "If it were up to me, I would stay and finish the year first." About three weeks after Mother died, Uncle Benjamin sent a letter to me:

Dearest Eve,

Due to your mother's untimely death, I have arranged for you to come and stay with me in Merryweather Manor. Two weeks from now, I will send my serviceman Digweed to collect you. I am terribly sorry for your loss.

Sir Benjamin Merryweather

That was all he wrote. Signed and dated. No "would you like to stay here?" just a "you're coming". I had never visited this Moonacre place, but my mother often spoke of its beauty. She also spoke of the ugliness inside it. An enemy clan also lived in this valley: the De Noirs. I assumed they were the reason I had never been there.

"Oh, what am I to do without you, Eve?" she asked sadly. Molly had very few friends, though I never understood why. She was so sweet and funny. I hugged her.

"You'll be just fine, Molly," I assured her. "Now, come help me finish packing." We walked to our shared bedroom and she sat on the bed as I packed.

"You'll call me, right?" she asked, and I gave her a kind smile.

"I told you I would." I reminded her as I folded my t-shirts and placed them in my enormous suitcase. She nodded and smiled. Once I had finished with packing, I changed into my favorite tank top, cut of shorts, my blue and green high-top converse, and my favorite hoodie. Just then our headmaster knocked on our door and called out to me.

"Eve, Mr. Digweed has arrived to take you to your uncle's," she informed me.

"Ok, I'll be out in a moment," I called in response. I turned and opened my arms to Molly. She ran into them and I hugged her goodbye. She pulled back and I looked her in the eyes. "Don't you dare forget me!" she laughed.

"Never," she assured me. I kissed her on the cheek and grabbed my bags. I, then exited the room and headed down the hall and outside to my ride. To my utter shock, there was a horse and carriage waiting for me with a chubby, old man leaning against it.

"You would be Miss Eve, then, yes?" he asked. I was so stunned that all I could manage was a nod. He smiled and bowed to me. "Digweed, at your service, mum. May I take you luggage then, miss?" he took all but the backpack resting on my back. After he fastened them on top of the carriage, he opened the door and helped me into the old thing.

"Well, this should be fun…" I mumbled to myself as Digweed climbed atop the carriage. The carriage jolted forward, and I nearly fell out of my seat. I could already tell, this was going to be a long, and rather bumpy ride. By noon the air was hot and humid. Sweating slightly, I took off my hoodie and straightened out my tank top. Then, I threw my hair up into a ponytail and leaned back, attempting to enjoy the ride.

I eventually grew very bored and began to draw in my sketchbook. I drew a beautiful woman wearing an old-timey dress, around her neck, a string of pearls. I always seemed to draw this woman, though I never knew her, nor had I seen anyone like her. Yet she was so familiar that it was haunting. It took me several hours to successfully draw her as she had to look perfect or I hated the picture. Just after I had finished, the carriage stopped. I called out my window to Digweed.

"Have we arrived?" I asked. He didn't answer. I leaned out to get a better look, only to see him carrying a large key ring to a massive gate, humming an unrecognizable tune to himself. "Hey, I asked you question," I called, aggravated at him. Then, before I knew it two hands were on my shoulders, trying to pull me out of the window. "What the…" I tried to pull out of the grip but it tightened. I turned up to face my attacker and saw a pair of the most beautiful brown eyes I had ever seen. Dark brown curls fell wildly out of a black bowler hat, and the boy had a strip of black cloth covering his nose. I would've found him to be quite attractive, had he not been trying to grab me.

"Hello, princess," the boy smiled mischievously at me. "You're coming with me, now." I grinned back at him, having intentions of my own.

"Not likely, pretty boy," I replied, and punched him hard in the nose. His arms left my shoulders as he cried out in pain. I pulled myself back into the carriage, just in time for Digweed to pull away and through the gate. I looked out the window and watched the gate fall as my mystery boy, and a few other boys, ran to the gate and cried after me.

"I'll get you, little witch!" I waved mockingly at him and sat back in the carriage.

"That would be the welcome party, then?" I muttered sarcastically. About an hour later, the carriage pulled in front of, what I assumed to be, Merryweather Manor. Digweed opened the door and I stepped down, throwing my bag onto my back. I looked up to see a large, dark figured coming down the stairs.

"Ah, Eve," my uncle called. As he came closer he noticed my outfit of choice and gave me a disapproving look, but recovered from it quickly. "Still as beautiful as ever, I see." He looked me up and down again. "Now, if only we could get you to cover up your body more. A lady should never expose her body this much." He insisted. I rolled my eyes.

"Hello, Uncle. Still as old fashioned as ever, I see," I smirked. He didn't respond. He just led me through the house, pointing out rooms I was allowed to enter, and rooms that were forbidden. We came to a room with a massive, black dog in it. Uncle told his name was Wrolfe, and that since i was a Merryweather, he would not harm me. We came to a spiral staircase, and Uncle turned to me.

"These stairs lead to your bedroom in the tower. I trust it will be to your liking," gestured to the stairs. He handed me my bags which he had carried for more. "Breakfast is at seven AM sharp. Goodnight, Eve." Before I could respond, he turned and left down the hallway.

"Okay, then," I said to myself, lifting my heavy bags. I ascended the stairs, huffing along as I ascended the staircase. As I topped the stairs, I looked to my right and saw, what had to be, the tiniest door in history. I made my way over to it, placed one bag on the ground, and turned the knob. I lifted the bag again, and ducked through the little door, nearly hitting my head on the way in. I looked around in awe of my new bedroom. "Wow…"

The walls were powder blue, and the ceiling was midnight blue and covered in glistening stars. To my left, there were two wardrobes and a chest for my clothing. To the right, there was a large desk. On the far end of the bedroom, there was a set of French doors that led to a balcony. I opened the doors to let the night air in, and turned to the bed. The bed was huge and shaped like a sea shell. I tossed my bags onto it and opened them. I unpacked in silence.

After unpacking, I began to change into my favorite pajamas. I threw on my top, but before I could get my bottoms on, I saw movement outside. I turned to the balcony and approached it with caution. The wind brushed across my bare legs. I watched for a moment, seeing nothing, but then I saw him.

My mystery boy from the gate was leaning against a large oak at the tree line of the forest, staring at me. Once he realized I saw him, he waved and a mocking fashion. I found his action amusing and smiled. What an oaf. I played along and blew a kiss at him. He laughed so loud I could hear him from the tower.

"Goodnight, pretty boy," I said, thinking he wouldn't hear me. Unfortunately, he did.

"Goodnight, Eve," he called back. "See you soon." With that, I returned to my room and closed the doors, locking them behind me. I dared a peek through the curtains. He was gone. I went back over to the bed and pulled my pajama pants on. I went to the desk, opened my journal, and began to write.

Dear Diary,

I have arrived at my new home in Moonacre. Uncle seems to regret bringing me here already. I was given a tour of the manor as soon as I got here and so far I am forbidden from nearly half the rooms in this place. I predict my stay to be quite boring so, in an attempt to entertain myself, I plan on exploring the forest tomorrow. I am going to try and map it out so I can keep track on where I explore. Perhaps I can even convince Uncle to let me go into the village. I do intend on asking because Mother always spoke of it in a way that made it sound quite charming.

In other news, there is a strange boy following me around. I know not his name, but he knows mine. Strangely enough, he attempted abduct me earlier today and I have no idea why. I have to admit that when I first saw him, I instantly fancied him, but due to the fact that he intends me harm, I will not have feelings for him. Not now, not ever.

With that, I closed the book and stood up, yawning. I pulled my hair out of the messy ponytail it was in, and brushed out the tangled mess. Once every tangle was gone from my head, I let the curls fall to my waist, too tired to put it back up. I went over to the light switch, flipped it off, and made my way over to my new bed. I settled in under the soft covers and curled into a ball. I already missed Molly dearly, and promised myself that I would call her tomorrow before I left to venture into the forest. I would have to leave her a message, though, as I knew she would be in lessons all day.

I lay awake half the night, watching the stars glisten on my ceiling and thinking about the boy outside. I had so many questions regarding him. For example, why did he call me princess? I am certainly not a princess as I'm actually quite plain. And how on earth did he know my name? Why was he masked when he clearly did not care that I saw him? More importantly, who was he? Only one question truly stood out in my mind: What did he mean when he said "See you soon"?

(A/N) Okay, i know i probably shouldn't be writing two stories at once,

but i couldn't resist! i was so inspired to write a modern version,

that i couldn't help myself.

As usual... i want to know what you think!

So... REVIEW (: