Okay, so I've got some questions about my story. Um...which one to start with first? Okay, 1) Marlin is in the book series, sorry if I spoiled it for you, LightsPast! And to answer the other question...where th heck is Adriane?! Have no fear, she is going to show soon, I promise! As will Zach, and a few of Kara's friends ( like Tiffany, Heather, and Molly, in the form of noble women, of course!). Yeah...anywho, Marcus is one of the prince's in here, just 'cause I wanted him to be mentioned. And 'Prince Jonathan" is supposed to be Joe XD. Sorry, I disappeared! The stupid computer caught a virus and I had to take it in to get fixed. Right now I'm typing this out on some old piece of junk I found in the basement, so desperate was I. Anyways...I hope you enjoy this new chapter!

P.S. Sorry, there are grammar errors all over the place -.- I have no time to try to fix them.

Emily stood slightly apart from her mother. It was moments like these when she wondered why she tried so hard to impress the queen. It always seemed like she was over-shadowed by Kara. Not like she would ever tell her that; she truly did love her sister, but just like everyone else, she had her misgivings. She looked around her. A little while after Prince Marlin had departed, her mother had her tracked down and had her taken back to the castle, so as not to miss the biggest event. Prince Marlin...whatever was the matter with him anyway? He had treated her so carelessly, and he seemed far to laid-back. But then again...how did he change so fast? It seemed as though right when that guard had found him, he just shut down. Deflated. Turned off. All traces of the Marlin she had met disappeared when he had talked with the guard. It was strange, indeed. Emily shook her head, determined not to think about him anymore. She heard the trumpets sound they're alarm and turned to look at the winding staircase of which her sister was to make her entrance.

She appeared like a vision. Her long mane of golden hair had been curled, and it fell down her back like a satin waterfall. Her creamy skin was flawless, her full lips a dewy red. Her corn-flower blue eyes twinkled under long eyelashes, and her high cheekbones were dusted a rosy tint. While in most cases it seemed like the dress wore the person, Kara seemed to make her gown even more beautiful just by wearing it. Emily swallowed and looked away. Little imagination was required to see why Prince Lorren had fallen for her - 'And not me,' she couldn't help but think. She pushed the thoughts aside and joined in the thunderous applause that had erupted when Kara had stepped in.

Kara glided down the marble staircase, pausing only to preen or wave at the crowd. She really did belong in the spotlight. When she reached the bottom, she looked over the crowd and then at her mother, raising an eyebrow. Emily could practically hear what she was thinking - 'How did I do?'. Emily looked over at her mother, who had an indulgent smile on her face - 'Extremely well. Keep it up.'. Emily suddenly felt her mouth drop open. No way. She did not just...read their minds. It was impossible. Unnatural. Witch-craft. And yet...how could she have heard those thoughts? Immediately, a more sensible answer came to mind - Stress. Of course! ' Too much stress is what caused you to think up that little conversation', she consoled herself. But she couldn't make that stupid voice in the back of her head shut up; that voice that was whispering that maybe, just maybe, it hadn't been her imagination. She snapped her mouth closed when her mother gave her a dark look. Emily looked for Kara, only to find out she had been beside her the entire time.

"Emily! What did I miss?"

"Oh, nothing much,' Emily answered smoothly, adding in her head, 'Just the fact that I can probably/maybe/perhaps read minds. Oh, and did you happen to see any pieces of my shattered heart laying around?' Kara studied Emily closely. Something was off. But she didn't know what. Right when she was about to ask, the trumpets sounded again, announcing the arrival of...Lorren. Emily gulped when she saw him. He had slicked his jet-black hair back, and his grass-green eyes sparkled merrily. He looked dashing in formal ball wear, but seemed a little more dapper with his crown upon his head. He studied the crowd until his gaze landed on Kara. Smiling, he walked down the stairs and toward his destination - his bride-to-be.

Emily looked at Kara out of the corner of her eye. She coud feel her love for Lorren all around her, and as she looked back at Lorren, she could see he felt the same way. She swallowed and kept a fake smile plastered on her face. It would be best not to let her feelings take control, especially not now. She watched as Lorren strode over and take her mother's hand and kiss it, but his eyes never strayed from Kara. He then took Emily's hand and smiled at her. Her heart clenched as he brushed his lips against her skin and moved on. He really had no idea what he did to her, and for that she was grateful, if not saddened by the thought.

"Kara," was all Lorren said as he took both of her hands in his own and smiled tenderly. Kara blushed a rosy hue as she smiled shyly back. This was the only reason Emily kept her emotions in check. It was the fact that she knew that Kara truly loved Lorren, and vice-versa. They were meant for each other, that much was plain. The queen stepped forward, a pleased smile playing on her lips, and clapped smartly.

"I would like to announce the second part of this most wonderous occasion - Princess Kara and Prince Lorren are to be wed in a few month's time," She exclaimed to claps and hollers. The happy couple seemed a bit embarrassed by the attention, but took it in stride. Emily heard the orchestra start-up with a lively tune as everybody took up partners and began to dance. Her throat constricted as Kara and Lorren joined hands and joined the crowd. She stepped back and smiled, as if she was waiting for someone who was already supposed to be there ( yet another trick borrowed from her mother ). She watched as three men came toward her, each from different directions. She recognized 2 of them. Prince Marcus from the north and Prince Jonathan from the south. She wasn't completely sure, but the other one seemed to be one of the 3 prince's from the east. Prince Jonathon got to her before the other two did. He smiled charmingly and bowed, holding out a hand.

"May the princess be so kind as to share this dance with me?" Emily smiled back politely, and placed her hand into his. But just as they were about to start, an arm suddenly cut between they're bodies. Emily looked up, startled. There was Prince Marlin, standing there with a smirk on his face. He looked at Jonathon like an older brother would look at his pesky younger sibling.

"I do hate to intrude, but I believe this dance is mine," he said smoothly, guiding the still baffled Emily to his side. Prince Jonathon looked miffed, but there was something in Marlin's eyes that told him not to make a scene. He stepped back reluctantly as Prince Marlin took Emily into the crowd. He placed his hands on the small of her back, grinning teasingly.

"Well, fancy meeting you here," He told her as he started leading her into a waltz.

"What in the world were you thinking, cutting in like that," she scolded him, completely ignoring his attempt at humor.

"I believe I was saving you from a painful experience. Everyone know's that I'm a better dancer than Jonathon is," he responded lightly, avoiding her question. Emily sighed. This man was impossible, that was certain. She changed tactics.

"How did you find me? And don't you dare give me any 'it was fate' excuse. Are you stalking me?"

"I told you I would be seeing you around, didn't I? Or did you forget?" Emily found herself rolling her eyes. This conversation wasn't going to get anywhere. Just as she was about to retort, the song ended. She went to remove her hand, but found he wouldn't let go. She raised an eyebrow at him. He simply grinned.

"Another dance?" Emily squinted at him. He couldn't be serious, could he? Unfortunately, her question was answered when another song started and he swept her into twirl. She spun and landed in his arms. She glanced up, only to see him gazing at her with a feeling she couldn't seem to quite place. She fought down a blush as he twirled her back into position.

"Prince Mar-"

"Please, call me Marlin."

"Marlin," she started again," you do realize it's improper to keep a young lady to yourself all night, don't you?"

"Yes, I do."

Emily blinked, a little surprised with his straight-forward manner.

"I also believe that I've haven't had the pleasure of knowing your name," Marlin said, his mouth quirked.

"It's Emily," she answered, not bothering with the princess title. For some reason, she didn't find it necassary. She watched as Marlin paused, a his lips curling into a genuine smile.

"A beautiful name," he said, his eyes dancing," though not near enough beautiful for the woman who bears it."

Emily couldn't stop the blush that found its way to her face. She parted her lips slightly to say something ( though she didn't know how to respond ), but the song once again ended and a new one took its place. Marlin was about to sweep her into another dance when Prince Marcus tapped his shoulder from behind.

"Do you mind terribly if I cut in?"

Without waiting for an answer, he took Emily away from Marlin. She looked back at him, trying to say 'sorry' with her eyes. Marlin stepped forward, about to intervene, when a princess from a neighboring kingdom quite literally threw herself into his arms. Emily tried to console herself. There was always next time. The ball wasn't over. But as Marcus spun her around, she caught her mother' eye. And she wasn't pleased.